More than 1,600 turtles have escaped, albeit slowly, from a turtle farm near the Georgia town of Summerville, reported the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday.
The owner of the farm, David Driver, said that fences around the turtle pond had been torn down “all summer long,” and he called local authorities last week. “It was pranks, is what it was,” he said.
“There was about 2,200 over there. We lost 1,600 of them,” he told the newspaper and illustrated that his business has been hit hard because of the incident.
The openings in the fences have allowed the turtles, which are species native to the region, to escape into nearby ponds and creeks. They are mainly snapping, soft-shelled, and eastern painted turtles.
“I started getting calls from people that saw turtles all over Harrisburg Road and McConnell Road. That’s how I knew they were out,” he told the Summerville News.
Chattooga County Sheriff’s investigator Matt Hayes said that while the incident seems comical on the surface, “at the end of the day, it’s a theft. It’s hard enough to make it without somebody taking stuff.”
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