2 girls investigated for torturing rare tortoise

ORANGE PARK, Florida (AP) - State wildlife officials are investigating two North Florida girls after a video posted online showed them lighting a threatened gopher tortoise on fire and stomping it to death.

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Videos posted on the Facebook page of the Nevada Voters of Animals showed the Orange Park girls dousing the tortoise with a flammable fluid and laughing as the creature tries to get away from the flames.

A second video shows one of the girls stomping on the animal until its shell breaks and it's dead.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Karen Parker told the Florida Times-Union that the agency has received a lot of complaints about the video.

"Our officers are investigating the case and are presently working with the State Attorney's Office to determine what charges may be filed," the FWC said in a Facebook post.

Parker told our sister station WTLV First Coast News that the gopher tortoise was declared an endangered species in 2007. She's still puzzled by the teenagers' actions.

"I don't know why you would do something like that and then post something like that," said Parker. "I don't have any words for it. I'm at a loss."

WTLV First Coast News contributed to this report

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