- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WING, Ala. (AP) - Alabama wildlife officials say a north Florida man caught trying to smuggle tortoises out of Alabama has been charged with possession of a nongame species.

Authorities said Tuesday that 33-year-old Micah McKinney of Ponce de Leon, Florida was stopped at a security checkpoint in Wing, Alabama and was found with six gopher tortoises. Officials say the man told investigators he planned on eating the tortoises and they have since been released into a suitable habitat.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials say gopher tortoises are a protected species under state law and are being considered for further protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wildlife officials say other animals - including some that are endangered - also use the burrows that gopher tortoises create for shelter.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide