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Man Risks Jail Terms for Keeping Possession of Threatened Tortoise



Edrick Acres, a 53 year old man from Eustis, Florida has been charged for possession of the threatened gopher tortoise, which he had been keeping in a five-gallon bucket.


According to the Jerusalem Post, a Florida man was arrested after law enforcement discovered he was keeping a threatened tortoise in a bucket, according to a Tuesday report from Fox 35 Orlando citing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).


The FWC adds that the tortoise is listed as “threatened” on both the Federal and state level.


What is a threatened species?

According to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, section 3, term 20, a “threatened species” refers to “any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”


What is the difference between a threatened species and an endangered species?

Man Risks Jail Terms for Keeping Possession of Threatened Tortoise
 A baby gopher tortoise. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A threatened species differentiates itself from an endangered species which, according to section 3, term 6 of the Endangered Species Act, refers to “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”


The act is available for review on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.


The Fox report states that, after receiving a tip that a gopher tortoise was being kept by an individual, the FWC sent an officer to Acres’ home.


Acres told the officer about the tortoise before proceeding to show him the reptile, which was being kept in the five-gallon bucket.


The FWC subsequently confiscated the gopher tortoise in order to release it into the wild.


The FWC officer instructed Acres to remain seated in a chair while he did his paperwork. However, upon completing the paperwork, Acres had disappeared from the spot.


Acres’ mother said that he had gone down the street to a corner store where, indeed, he was located and then arrested.


In addition to being charged with possession of a gopher tortoise, the Florida man was additionally charged with resisting arrest without violence and for possession of marijuana.


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