Painting Tortoises

       FFWCC painted tortoise

         In a recent Facebook post, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warned that painting gopher tortoises is illegal. At first glance this prank seems harmless, but the post warns that painting the shells can severely compromise their health. Humans apply sunscreen to block out harmful UV rays, but we do allow, and encourage some exposure to the nutrients provided by the sun. Paint on a turtle’s shell prevents such absorption.
The paint also contains harmful chemicals which can be absorbed into the tortoise’s bloodstream. While a tortoise’s carapace provides some protection, it’s natural coloration helps to camouflage and protect the animal from predators.
Gopher tortoises are listed as a threatened species.

It is against the law to kill, harass or destroy gopher tortoises, their eggs or burrows. If you suspect a wildlife law violation, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program at 888-404-FWCC, 24-hours a day or online. You could be eligible for a reward if your information leads to an arrest.

4 responses to “Painting Tortoises

  1. Skipper Hammond

    Woolworths and other dimestores used to sell little turtles with design transfers on their carapace. No wonder they died a few weeks after you brought them home.

  2. I am amazed at how cruel people can be and not even realize they are being cruel. Sorry I missed this post somehow. You write such interesting ones!

  3. Thank-you, sweet lady! I think they simply don’t recognize that self gratification to the exclusion of others’ feelings, even if it is an animal, is hurtful. I liken these vandals to those who bash in mailboxes, thought these are not living beings. -A thrill ride that leaves someone hurting and paying for damage caused by selfish, inconsiderate oafs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *