Two male teenagers who may be connected to the disappearance of two turtles from Flamingo Gardens over the weekend are being sought by Davie police.
The botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary told investigators that on Saturday two box turtles were being handled by the teens who staffers say entered its reptiles’ exhibit without permission.
On Sunday morning, employees discovered the turtles were gone and notified police.
The 6-to-12-inch-long reptiles — an orange and brown Eastern box turtle named Zippy that is injured with a cracked belly shell, and an unnamed Florida box turtle that is a state native species — need special care.
The tourist attraction gives sanctuary to permanently injured animals, including Zippy, who could die if not cared for properly, officials said.
The teenagers were at Flamingo Gardens at 3750 S. Flamingo Road. They would be memorable to other visitors because they cursed at patrons near the turtle exhibit or gift shop, and when told to leave, threatened to return and harm the animals, police said.
Davie Police said the teens are about 16 years old.
One has brown or black hair and wore a brown shirt and white and navy basketball shorts.
The other has shaved blond hair and wore a Miami Heat Shaquille O’Neal basketball jersey.
Zippy is named for the zip ties that are glued to his split belly shell to help it fuse back together.
He has been recovering from that injury for more than a year, Flamingo Gardens staffer Laura Wyatt said.
Though the turtles are otherwise healthy, they can carry salmonella, she said, and the bacteria can be harmful for elderly people and young children.
Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle said anyone who has Zippy or his cohort should call police to have the turtles picked up. …
A happy ending:
“Two box turtles stolen from a Davie tourist attraction have been returned. But police still don’t know who took them.
According to Flamingo Gardens, an anonymous caller phoned the park Friday morning to report the missing turtles were in a blue pillowcase in the overflow parking lot underneath a sign. Both turtles were recovered and appear to be in good condition, Flamingo Gardens spokeswoman Laura Wyatt said.” – link
The turtles were unharmed except for several bodies parts of male teenagers found partially undigested in their stomachs. 😉