Tortoise covered in paint, concrete left along Florida road


The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission wants answers after a gopher tortoise was found painted red, covered in concrete, and struggling to survive along a Lake County road.

FWC said two people came across the tortoise on County Road 455, south of Montverde, early this week. The bystanders got the tortoise to Kim Titterington, who runs Swamp Girl Adventures in Kissimmee.

“It’s just very upsetting,” said Titterington, who works with the Central Florida Wildlife Center to rehab injured tortoises and other animals.

Volunteers have been working to gently chip away the concrete and get the red paint off of the tortoise all week. As of Wednesday, Kim estimates it’s about 70 percent cleaned up, with significant paint remaining on the face and skin, and concrete still causing problems along the animal’s underside.

Kim’s nicknamed the tortoise Raphael, saying it needed a strong name after the fight it’s been through.  Raphael is being checked out by vets regularly and Kim said so far X-rays are coming back looking good.  With the concrete chipped off, for the most part, she said it’s also walking much better and is eager to get moving again. – READ MORE

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