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VIDEO: Florida driver intentionally runs over protected gopher tortoise

Posted: 8:49 AM, Aug 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 13:03:57Z

Deputies in Florida are looking for a driver who ran over a protected gopher tortoise last weekend and left the scene.

On Aug. 11 at about 3:20 p.m., Pinellas County deputies received a call regarding a badly-injured gopher tortoise near an elementary school in Dunedin.

Law enforcement arrived, found the injured reptile and called the Owls Nest Sanctuary for Life.

Deputies then reviewed surveillance camera located at the school, which showed an unidentified driver of a light-colored possibly newer model Acura TSX entering the bus circle of the school.

 

The driver of the vehicle slowed down, and then came to a complete stop as the tortoise crossed the road.

The driver then waited for the tortoise to crawl in front of the vehicle, and then accelerated, running over the animal with the vehicle’s left front tire.

The driver then continued through the bus circle and left the scene.

The vehicle is possibly light blue or silver with a sunroof and five spoke wheels.

In Florida, the gopher tortoise is a threatened species. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Sgt. Kristofer Wendel of the Patrol Operations Unit 727-582-6200.