TAMPA, Fla. — Florida wildlife officials are investigating two girls after a video posted to Facebook showed them lighting a rare tortoise on fire and stomping it to death, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission.
Videos showed the Orange Park girls dousing the threatened gopher tortoise with a flammable liquid, lighting it on fire and stomping the animal until its shell breaks.
“We have received multiple complaints about the videos posted to Facebook last evening showing the killing of a small gopher tortoise,” the FWC said in a Facebook post. “Our officers are investigating the case and are presently working with the State Attorney’s Office to determine what charges may be filed.”
Officials said gopher tortoises are a threatened species, and it is against the law to kill, harass or destroy them, their eggs or burrows.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC.