By Associated Press - Friday, November 7, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Conservation Department reports that it recently seized four gopher tortoises from the Mobile Zoo.

Enforcement Chief Kevin Dodd says the tortoises were taken from the private zoo in Wilmer. A department biologist says blood tests showed the four had a respiratory illness and two died. The other two are isolated on private property and won’t be reintroduced into the wild to avoid infecting other gopher tortoises.

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the seizure occurred after PETA filed a complaint with the Conservation Department.

Gopher tortoises are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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