Please do not paint Gopher Tortoises
05.23.2018: Did you know today, May 23, is World Turtle Day? The purpose of World Turtle Day is to bring attention to and increase knowledge of and respect for turtles and tortoises, and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. So what better day to highlight one of our recent patients!
This gopher tortoise came in painted with what looks like nail polish. Pink and glittery. The likely work of a kid, and one old enough to know better by the skill of her “artwork”. We’re slowly cleaning the polish off because paint of any kind on a tortoise or turtle is harmful. In addition, gopher tortoises are a protected species and it’s illegal to harass them in any way, including disturbing and handling them long enough to be painted and putting their health at risk.
This tortoise came from the neighborhood near Vasco off Aqui Esta in Punta Gorda. If you see wildlife being harassed or harmed, please call us at 941-637-3830 or Florida Fish and Wildlife at 1-888-404-3922.
05.04.2018: Once again we’ve taken in a gopher tortoise that someone or several someones thought they’d have fun painting. The tortoise was found in the Solana area in Punta Gorda and has 4 names painted on it. We suspect it’s the work of kids from the writing. This is the second tortoise painted from this neighborhood. the first one came to us a couple years ago. Although it seems like harmless fun, you are unintentionally causing harm to wildlife.
- Toxic chemicals can cause harm to the animal and yourself
- Stress can kill an animal or make them sick
- Voids the natural camouflage for the animal to avoid predators
- Gopher tortoises are a protected species and per Florida Fish and Wildlife, it is illegal and harmful to cover them with paint or other man-made substances.
Enjoy our local wildlife from a distance, let them remain wild and free in their natural environment.
If you know of anyone that is unintentionally, or even worse, purposely causing harm to animals, please talk your parents right away so they can make a report to the proper authorities. Tell your friends about the bullet points listed above so they can be aware too. With your help, we can save a “wild” life!
Related story: On April 18th, 2018 Wink News covered a similar story; you can read it here.
Related story: On May 16th, 2018 Wink News covered two more similar stories; you can read them here.