An endangered gopher tortoise was tortured, burned, and stomped to death by two Florida teens, and the whole thing was caught on video and distributed to their respective social media accounts.
According to First Coast News, 18-year-old Jennifer Emoke Greene and her 15-year-old juvenile accomplice cornered the gopher tortoise and attempted to set it on fire.
The first attempt failed, after which the girls poured a combustible liquid on its shell and used a cigarette lighter to start the blaze. As they were doing this and filming it, the gopher tortoise can be seen trying to get away.
“Burn baby. Burn baby,” one of the girls said, while both can be heard laughing hysterically and at one point apologizing to the turtle for not being able to set it on fire the first time.
The girls were arrested on charges of cruelty to animals, a third degree felony, and taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise, a second degree misdemeanor, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).
From the FCN report:
“We take these issues very seriously,” said Col. Calvin Adams, director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “We appreciated the help from the public and our partners in working to protect our valuable natural resources.”
“We will not tolerate this behavior in the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” added State Attorney Angela Corey. “We are committed to fully prosecuting those responsible for the torture and death of this vulnerable and threatened species.”
According to the FWC, 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’s case will be prosecuted in the juvenile system.
If you have the constitution for it, here are clips from the video itself via USA Today.
Unfortunately, it seems like we’re telling you about animal cruelty cases like this every day.
Last weekend, The Inquisitr brought you the story of the so-called Craigslist Dog Killer.
Jason Brown was apprehended and charged with five felony counts of willful torture of an animal and one count of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Brown, 24, “killed and dismembered five dogs” in a Reno motel. At least two of the dogs, the site noted, were obtained “from a woman trying to find a new home for the pets.”
In the case of the tortured gopher tortoise, what punishment do you think the two teens should receive? Share your thoughts in our comments section.