LAKE COUNTY, Fla .— Wildlife investigators have charged a man they say is responsible for a gopher tortoise being covered in red paint.
A paint company worker, Edwin Escalera, is accused of dumping paint down a gopher tortoise hole.
Gopher tortoises are a threatened Florida species.
WFTV reports that a hole filled with red paint was found at a small commercial business park where Ram Striping leases warehouse space and keeps equipment.
Investigators say the paint on the tortoise matched that paint.
Escalera said he didn't know the tortoise was in the hole, but was charged with littering and injuring the endangered gopher tortoise.
If convicted, Escalera faces up to $600 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.
The good news is the tortoise is doing well and nearly all of the paint has been removed.