St. Augustine Alligator Farm searching for stolen Galapagos tortoises

St. Augustine Alligator Farm searching for stolen Galapagos Tortoises (News4JAX)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Who the shell would do something like this?

Two young Galapagos tortoises were stolen from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park on Nov. 30, the zoo said.

The endangered species were captive-born at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in 2017. They are part of a captive breeding program and require special diets and supplements, according to the zoo.

“If someone you know came home with a large black tortoise this week, it was not purchased legally,” the zoo said in a post on Facebook. “This species is NOT available in the pet trade and they will get to be 600lbs!”

The post went on to say that the tortoises can not stay outside during cooler nights.

The Alligator Farm said they can easily be identified by a veterinarian with their unique microchips.

“We are currently sorting through hours of video surveillance and are confident we will have images to provide the public soon.”

According to TortiseExpert.com, a Galapagos tortoise can cost anywhere from $6,000 (hatchling) to $30,000 (adult). In some cases, these tortoises can live for more than 150 years.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the tortoises, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife or the St. Augustine Police.


About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.