Two Florida girls, ages 15 and 18, charged with torturing gopher tortoise near Jacksonville

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrested two teenage girls Friday morning on charges of torturing a gopher tortoise earlier this month.

Jennifer Emoke Greene, 18, and a 15-year-old girl are charged with felony cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony, and taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise, a second-degree misdemeanor.

On July 15, the FWC said they received a tip about the torture and death of a gopher tortoise.  FWC and Clay County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident.   

Videos posted on the Facebook page of the Nevada Voters for Animals showed the Orange Park girls dousing the tortoise with a flammable fluid and laughing as the creature tries to get away from the flames.

A second video shows one of the girls stomping on the animal until its shell breaks and it's dead.

If convicted, Greene faces up to five years in prison on the animal cruelty charge. The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

The 15-year-old girl's case will be prosecuted in the juvenile system, according to a FWC news release.

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