Endangered gopher tortoise spray painted red found in middle of road

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking for the public’s help finding the culprit who spray painted an endangered gopher tortoise red with concrete on his limbs and the top of his shell. The tortoise was found near Orlando walking along County Road 455.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, The Central Florida Wildlife Center and Swamp Girls Adventures will help to rehabilitate the tortoise. The rescue had to act quickly.

“All of the areas that were easily exposed were all red,” stated Kim Titterington. “We don’t want the chemicals to continue to sink in. So, we needed to get as much as possible in the first 24 hours.”


Paint that may have stuck to the tortoise, now affectionately known as Raphael (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), could cause organ damage as he breathes in the fumes.

Swamp Girls Adventures posted an update on Raphael Wednesday afternoon after spending their time scrubbing the paint off with a toothbrush and gentle dish soap:

“Update on the gopher tortoise we have nicknamed Raphael. FWC has been notified and working on the situation. We are continuing to care for the tortoise and the removal of the concrete and paint. We are currently at about 70% of it removed! Here are a few updated pictures. We have been asked about making donations and donations can be made through the Swamp Girl Adventures organization page or our website www.SwampGirlAdventures.Org
Thank you everyone!”

It is both illegal and very harmful to the health of a gopher tortoise to apply man-made substances, such as paint or concrete to any part of their body or shell. If you have any information about who may have applied the paint and concrete on the tortoise, please call our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone, or text/email Tip@MyFWC.com. Anyone contacting Wildlife Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. As always, thank you for your help!

Get well soon Raphael. If you see something, report it. Help this innocent tortoise find justice.

(Photos of gopher tortoise painted red by Kim Titterington

Nine breeder dogs found stuffed in a small cage that was dumped in an alley – read more here.


Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Nine breeder dogs found stuffed in a small cage that was dumped in an alley – read more here.

Caged breeder dogs dumped in an alley


6 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    I hope there is a real investigation to find the bastards who did this – they should be hogtied, sprayed with concrete paint, and dumped in the everglades – not even good enough for gator lunch. Let them sink to the bottom and rot.

  2. ACE says:

    What a ROTTEN PIECE OF SCUM to do this. Cruelty takes many forms. I hope that a friend or family member finds out and does the right thing and reports the creep(s))

  3. vicki hood says:

    Orlando— Please find the deranged sewer scum that tried to kill this innocent. There is a reward as incentive. Turn him/her in. This cannot happen again.

  4. pennysdachshunds says:

    LIKE this LITTLE ENDANGERED TORTISE is MAKING ITSELF A NUCIENCE and PUTTING OTHER SPECIES IN SOME SORT of DANGER!!!! OH my guess it is very aggressive and the red paint is to WARN others that THEY MIGHT LOSE a FINGER or some OTHER APPENDAGE!!! What a “Sick-Minded TWISTED MIND THIS PERSON HAS!!!!


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