Please learn the difference between tortoises and sea turtles, say Florida wildlife officials

Well-meaning animal lovers in Florida have been mistaking gopher tortoises for their aquatic counterpart, the sea turtle, and helping them into the ocean, where they quickly drown.

Following several drowning incidences in March, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has warned residents of the area that Gopher tortoises will die when submerged in water, particularly when in ocean water or when they are hatchlings.

In a press release, the FWC asked the public to learn the difference between tortoises, which are usually land animals that uses its strong forelimbs to dig burrows, and sea turtles, which are primarily marine creatures that with feet adapted to swimming. READ MORE.