Apparently, painting turtles and tortoises is illegal…but people either didn’t know that, or chose to ignore the law when they started decorating the turtles that they found out in the wild. You can paint your nails, your car, your home, and the decorative rocks in your garden, but you can’t paint a wild turtle!
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found two gopher tortoises found with bright paint on the backs of their shells. They shared the pictures on Facebook with a warning!
It is illegal to paint the shells of gopher tortoises in Florida,” they warn the public about the legal and detrimental effects that painted shells can have on the creatures.
The paint will actually compromise the health of the animals because it blocks vitamins from being absorbed by the shells which causes respiratory problems. The chemicals from the paint is toxic to the little animals, and when it gets into their bloodstream from being placed on their shells and skin, they can become sick and die.
One of the worst things? Once they have been painted with bright colors, they become more visible to predators. Their bright shells might help passing motorists to notice and avoid hitting them, but they become walking targets to other animals looking for a tasty turtle snack.
Even though it is illegal, many people say that they will continue to add colored spots to the tortoises that they find on their property. Their reason? To avoid killing the creatures when they are cutting their grass or driving to their garage.
What do you think?
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