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Florida Officials Asking Public to Stop Painting Tortoise and Turtle Shells

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

You can never be too surprised with what you hear coming out of the state of Florida, but take a look at this!

When people are running around painting the shells of gopher turtles in Florida, you got to wonder if Pokemon Go has anything to do with it. However, with no evidence to tie the two together, lets look at what we do know.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released a statement along with a few photos pleading with residents in Florida to stop painting the backs of gopher turtles.

FWC stated, “Tortoises and turtles don’t need touch-ups! You can paint your house, a piece of furniture, a canvas, or even your own fingernails or toenails, but you should never paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises!”

Here is an example of one of the photos they released.

Painted Turtle
Photo By: FWC

Despite the rather colorful schemes on some of the recently found turtles, painting the shells can seriously compromise the animals health by blocking out important vitamins they need from he sun. This can cause respiratory issues and even allow toxic chemicals from the paint into the bloodstream.

In addition to the harm it can do to wildlife painting turtles is actually against the law.

According to the FWC, “Removing the paint can take several cleaning sessions by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to minimize stress to the animal and must be done with treatments that don’t further injure the tortoise; at times a tortoise may need to be sedated by a veterinarian to effectively remove the paint.”

If you encounter a turtle or tortoise that has been vandalized, it is important that you do not attempt to remove the paint yourself. Contacting the FWC office near you in order get information on what to do next is advised.

You can also help by reporting suspected wildlife violations to the FWC’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com from your cell phone.

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Florida Officials Asking Public to Stop Painting Tortoise and Turtle Shells