Girls who set tortoise on fire have been arrested-
Two girls seen on a Facebook video torturing and killing a gopher tortoise on July 16 in front of an Orange Park home were arrested Friday by investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Jennifer Emoke Greene, 18, and a 15-year-old juvenile were both charged with felony cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor charge of taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise, according to commission spokeswoman Karen Parker. Greene is in the Clay County jail on $55,000 bail.
The gopher tortoise has been listed as a threatened species in Florida since 2007, an upgrade from its previous “species of special concern” designation. “We are pleased the authorities acted so quickly and we hope this sets a precedent that animal cruelty should not be tolerated,” Welzant said. “Our Facebook and our email was getting a lot of feedback and a lot of outpouring from the community regarding this case and how upset they were.”
The graphic videos shows two Orange Park girls burning a small gopher tortoise, then laughing and cursing as they throw it down the street. The tortoise is doused with alcohol and lit as it crawls in circles through the flames. The tortoise tries to flee after it is doused again.
“Burn baby, burn baby,” one girl says as they light the tortoise on fire. “Now you are scared of us, huh?”
The second video is more graphic as one girl stomps on the tortoise until it is dead, with its organs squishing out. The girls scream in laughter. “His heart came out with a bunch of grass,” the girl with the camera says as she laughs, then kicks the corpse. “He’s dead. That’s funny.”
If convicted, Greene faces up to five years in prison on the felony animal-cruelty charge, while the misdemeanor charge carries up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, according to commission officials. The 15-year-old’s case would be handled in juvenile court.