Help! (broken shell)

Jiriza92

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando FL
You may have done all that you can do.

The only other option I see is to find a vet willing to fix it pro bono. You'd need to find an experienced tortoise vet. It just seems like the local news loves stories of "Shelly the turtle got a new shell prosthetic, and it's 3D printed!" Maybe they could get some good press. Who knows.

Then there's the challenge of actually getting the tortoise since it's behind a fence on someone's land. This might be the toughest part. Based on the brochure from the state that says you can take an injured animal directly to a vet, it seems like you'd be within the law to do so.

You could also make the argument that if you leave this injured tortoise in place, there's a chance that it could reproduce before succumbing to the injury, whereas if it were taken to a vet and rehab center, it may never reproduce again to propagate more gopher tortoises in FL. It seems like getting it vet care would be the way to go though.
"
Hello Jessica,

Thank you so much for caring about this poor animal! That shell really is in bad shape.

The only thing I can say is that you can try contacting The Conservancy or CROW clinic. Gopher tortoises are a protected species. Either of these organizations may be able to guide you as to either getting the tortoise some help from an organization closer to you, or they may be able to send someone to get the tortoise (We are all located on the west coast of Florida. I'm really not sure, but I do know that we are not able to help with this as we cannot take a protected species from its natural environment. Either of the other agencies should be able to guide you. The Conservancy should be able to give you some helpful information as to next steps. CROW has a clinic and they may be able to help with rehab of the animal if the Conservancy can't help."

I already contacted CROW 😔
 

AmandaTX

New Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Your other option is to report this as a federal violation of the ESA to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Harming an endangered or threatened species is a direct violation of both state and federal law. It appears that this injury could be caused by a person as several folks have suggested.

It looks like most of the Florida websites direct you to the state wildlife agency only. "Report a suspected crime involving a federally listed species by emailing [email protected] or calling 1- 844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477)." Another site has a different number/ contact you can try too: https://myfwc.com/contact/wildlife-alert/

As a former USFWS employee, staff at local National Wildlife Refuges are overworked and often have few to no resources to handle an injured animal. You have a couple of refuges to the east of Orlando you could call for advice. Do not take it to them or expect them to come collect the tortoise- it's just not in their power.

As a former zoo employee (I've had multiple careers in my time!) I can tell you some zoos are set up to work with T&E injured animals and some are not. I'm lucky to be near the Houston Zoo, where our amazing vet staff regularly pitch in to help injured wildlife. I have worked at other facilities where people have tried to bring in animals and we just couldn't accept anything due to the facility's policies. (Once while working at the Fort Worth Zoo, someone left 7 wine boxes full of adult desert tortoises at the door of the education center one night. Fort Worth can't take in outside wildlife so we as the education staff had to scramble to find rehabbers and fosters. Not cool.) You can find a list of American Zoo and Aquarium Association certified zoos here: https://www.aza.org/current-accreditation-list?locale=en Again, don't take the animal to them or expect them to come out- what they have the power to do is up to that zoo's specific policies.

I hope this helps a little! Unfortunately these kinds of cases require some serious phone time to find an answer.
 

Obbie

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
112
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
How sturdy is this fence ? If the owner of this land “owned” this poor guy, he should have taken care of him. I would hope that land owner doesn’t watch his fence lines. Go get the tortoise and don’t say where you found it. Sorry but I’ll pick a tortoise over a silly “do not trespass“ sign. This guy needs to be assessed by a good vet. You can put him back, I wouldn’t
 

Obbie

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
112
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
How sturdy is this fence ? If the owner of this land “owned” this poor guy, he should have taken care of him. I would hope that land owner doesn’t watch his fence lines. Go get the tortoise and don’t say where you found it. Sorry but I’ll pick a tortoise over a silly “do not trespass“ sign. This guy needs to be assessed by a good vet. You can put him back, I wouldn’t
 

JMM

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2017
Messages
117
Location (City and/or State)
Worcester, MA
So sorry to see this. I would suggest contacting the University of FL Vet School in Gainsville. They may be able to intervene and get the authorities to require this animal be given access to veterinary care. They would be one place in the area that you could take this animal for appropriate care. That wound definitely needs to be investigated and appropriately treated or the animal humanely euthanized if necessary. Feel free to PM me.
 

Jiriza92

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando FL
How sturdy is this fence ? If the owner of this land “owned” this poor guy, he should have taken care of him. I would hope that land owner doesn’t watch his fence lines. Go get the tortoise and don’t say where you found it. Sorry but I’ll pick a tortoise over a silly “do not trespass“ sign. This guy needs to be assessed by a good vet. You can put him back, I wouldn’t
I believe it's government property, or county property. I'd rather not deal with THAT...but I will call around
 

Obbie

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
112
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Your other option is to report this as a federal violation of the ESA to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Harming an endangered or threatened species is a direct violation of both state and federal law. It appears that this injury could be caused by a person as several folks have suggested.

It looks like most of the Florida websites direct you to the state wildlife agency only. "Report a suspected crime involving a federally listed species by emailing [email protected] or calling 1- 844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477)." Another site has a different number/ contact you can try too: https://myfwc.com/contact/wildlife-alert/

As a former USFWS employee, staff at local National Wildlife Refuges are overworked and often have few to no resources to handle an injured animal. You have a couple of refuges to the east of Orlando you could call for advice. Do not take it to them or expect them to come collect the tortoise- it's just not in their power.

As a former zoo employee (I've had multiple careers in my time!) I can tell you some zoos are set up to work with T&E injured animals and some are not. I'm lucky to be near the Houston Zoo, where our amazing vet staff regularly pitch in to help injured wildlife. I have worked at other facilities where people have tried to bring in animals and we just couldn't accept anything due to the facility's policies. (Once while working at the Fort Worth Zoo, someone left 7 wine boxes full of adult desert tortoises at the door of the education center one night. Fort Worth can't take in outside wildlife so we as the education staff had to scramble to find rehabbers and fosters. Not cool.) You can find a list of American Zoo and Aquarium Association certified zoos here: https://www.aza.org/current-accreditation-list?locale=en Again, don't take the animal to them or expect them to come out- what they have the power to do is up to that zoo's specific policies.

I hope this helps a little! Unfortunately these kinds of cases require some serious phone time to find an answer.
I think this should be looked as a crime, that is a human caused injury !
 

Jiriza92

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando FL
So sorry to see this. I would suggest contacting the University of FL Vet School in Gainsville. They may be able to intervene and get the authorities to require this animal be given access to veterinary care. They would be one place in the area that you could take this animal for appropriate care. That wound definitely needs to be investigated and appropriately treated or the animal humanely euthanized if necessary. Feel free to PM me.
That is actually a good idea! I'm sure someone there can help!
 

Jiriza92

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando FL
Thank you all so much for all your replies! I will see what I can do come Monday and keep updating! Prayers!
 

Farcryjj

Active Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
129
I actually don't understand the logic behind this whole thing... Because it is a native endangered animal, nobody can or is supposed to help it? Does it mean if it is a sulcata, people can actually offer it helps? How does it make sense? 🤔
 

Jiriza92

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando FL
Update:
I've been meaning to post! Last week when checking on the tortoise, I found 2! So there is definitely a family or something...there are a total of 6 hides. I found a tortoise in 2 of the hides..
 
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