FWC: Gopher tortoise, a threatened species, was found fatally shot in Sarasota County

Posted at 12:20 PM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 17:44:17-04

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking for tips after a gopher tortoise was found dead in Sarasota County from apparent gunshot wounds.

According to FWC, the fatally shot tortoise was found on Monday along Manasota Beach Road in Venice, Florida. Officers received a report that a newer-model red or maroon GMC truck was seen in the area at the time of the incident.

"We need your help identifying the perpetrator of this cruel and illegal act that took place," FWC posted on Facebook on Friday.

The gopher tortoise is listed as a threatened species. According to FWC, it is against the law to kill, harass or destroy gopher tortoises, their burrows or their eggs. For more information about this case, visit our Wildlife Alert page. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on your cell, or text You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

If you see a sick, injured or dead gopher tortoise, please report it to FWC at:

Due to the graphic nature of the injury, most of the tortoise and gunshot wound is concealed in the photo.