The FWC posted a PSA to their Facebook
on Wednesday, July 27, reminding Floridians that painting turtles' shells can harm their ability to get the vitamins they need from the sun, cause respiratory problems and allows harmful toxins to enter their bloodstream.
"You can paint your house, a piece of furniture, a canvas, or even your own fingernails or toenails, but you should never paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises!" said the FWC.
Gopher tortoises are a threatened species
and it is against the law to kill, harass, or destroy them. Painting a Picasso on its back falls under these regulations.
If you see a brightly-colored tortoise or turtle, report it to FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or email them at Tip@MyFWC.com.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission would like to remind people to stop using the shells of tortoises and turtles as paint canvases.