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Florida authorities say painting turtle shells is illegal

Published: Monday, August 08, 2016 @ 5:02 PM
Updated: Monday, August 08, 2016 @ 5:02 PM

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission put out a warning on its Facebook page on Wednesday, urging people to never paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises, as doing so is illegal.

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"While to you it may seem harmless, painting the shells of turtles and tortoises can severely compromise their health -- the paint can hinder their ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun, cause respiratory problems, allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and more," the warning said.

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FWC said cleaning the paint off of a tortoise's shell may take several sessions, may not remove all the paint fully, and sometimes, the animal has to be sedated.

"If you come across a turtle, or tortoise, with paint on its shell, do not attempt to remove the paint yourself," the FWC said. "Instead, contact the FWC regional office near you to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area, or to speak to an FWC gopher tortoise or a wildlife assistance biologist."

Suspected wildlife violations can be reported to FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Tortoises and turtles don’t need touch-ups!You can paint your house, a piece of furniture, a canvas, or even your own...

Posted by MyFWC on Wednesday, July 27, 2016