CNN

Florida sheriff’s deputy detained a tortoise for blocking the road. He got away with a warning and a selfie

Jun 24, 2019, 5:59 AM
tortoise...
St. Johns County Sheriff's Deputy L. Fontenot stopped a slow-moving gopher tortoise along a busy road north of St. Augustine, Florida. **Credit: St. Johns County Sheriff' Office/Facebook**

(CNN) — Florida law enforcement detained a slow-moving Florida native after the suspect refused to clear the road when asked.

The gopher tortoise was walking along Nocatee Parkway, north of St. Augustine, when St. Johns County Sheriff’s Deputy L. Fontenot spotted it during a routine patrol.

When asked to clear the road, the suspect, identified as “Gopherus Genus,” age unknown, continued its stroll.

Fontenot quickly detained the suspect. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the two had a “heartfelt conversation regarding this risky behavior” and the suspect was “released on his own recognizance.”

“Gopherus was cooperative during the remainder of my encounter with him, so I chose to use discretion and let him go with a warning,” Fontenot said in the statement.

But not before the pair took a selfie.

Gopher tortoises, which are the only tortoises found east of the Mississippi River, are listed as threatened in Florida and are protected under state law, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They are known for the deep burrows they dig for shelter, which are on average about 15 feet long, and they can live as long as 60 years in the wild.

Gopher tortoises tend to prefer high and dry habitats, the same places typically used for residential land development. This leads to an increased risk in road mortality for gopher tortoises, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says.

This species of reptile also spends up to 80% of its time in the burrows, according to the conservation commission — so maybe the “Gopherus Genus” stopped on the parkway was just trying to get home.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

FILE - President Joe Biden is taking his first major steps in decriminalizing marijuana. (AP Photo/...
Kevin Liptak, CNN

Biden to pardon all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession in first major steps toward decriminalization

The president will also encourage governors to take similar steps to pardon simple marijuana possession charges at the state level.
15 hours ago
Russian-speaking hackers on Wednesday claimed responsibility for knocking offline state government ...
Sean Lyngaas, CNN

Russian-speaking hackers knock US state government websites offline

Russian-speaking hackers on Wednesday claimed responsibility for knocking offline state government websites.
15 hours ago
Jasleen Kaur, left, Jasdeep Singh, center hold Aroohi, 8 mos. Amandeep Singh is seen right. The fam...
Aya Elamroussi, Natasha Chen and Jack Hannah, CNN

A kidnapped family of 4 has been found dead in California, authorities say

The family had been missing since Monday, when authorities said they were kidnapped by a man armed with a gun and forced into a truck.
15 hours ago
President Joe Biden is pictured speaking at a podium...
Steve Contorno, CNN

Biden to tour Ian damage in Florida with DeSantis feud on hold for now

Dave and Dujanovic are joined by ABC News Correspondent in Washington to talk about President Biden and First Lady vistiting Florida after the hurricane. Listen Live at 9:30 a.m.   Originally Published: 05 OCT 22 05:00 ET Updated: 05 OCT 22 09:57 ET (CNN) — President Joe Biden will visit Florida on Wednesday to see first-hand […]
2 days ago
A surface-to-surface missile is fired into the sea off the east coast in this handout picture provi...
Yoonjung Seo, Caitlin Hu, Eric Cheung and Brad Lendon, CNN

US and South Korea test-fire missiles in continued response after North Korea launch

In response to a recent test missile launch by North Korea, the US and South Korea launched four missiles off the Korean Peninsula Wednesday morning.
2 days ago
Three Fresh Carnitas Tacos on a plate wth lime and radish...
Casey Barber, CNN

Make every day National Taco Day with these tasty recipes

October 4 is National Taco Day, but any day in October (or any month, really) is a worthwhile opportunity to dive into the diverse world of tacos.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Florida sheriff’s deputy detained a tortoise for blocking the road. He got away with a warning and a selfie