A Sheriff’s Deputy in St. Johns County, Florida, had to make a decidedly out-of-routine traffic stop on Friday, as a tortoise was apparently Impeding Traffic flow.
But by the end of the incident, the Deputy and the tortoise were in good understanding with each other.
Deputy L. Fontenot encountered a tortoise, identified as “Gopherus Genus,” which may be because the Gopher Tortoise is the official tortoise of Florida. And, reportedly, the tortoise did not clear the roadway when ordered to do so, forcing Fontenot to detain him. (Also, it’s lucky Fontenot and the other drivers only encountered a tortoise, as far more terrifying animals have been known to wander through Florida.)
Fortunately, it appears that the suspect in question did not give the police officer in question too hard of a time.
“Gopherus was cooperative during the remainder of my encounter with him, so I chose to use discretion and let him go with a warning. In fact, our interaction was so positive, we posed for a selfie together!” the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.
IMPEDING TRAFFIC INCIDENT:While on routine patrol along Nocatee Parkway, Deputy L. Fontenot conducted a traffic stop on…
The story even ended happily, as the “Gopherus Genus” was released into some nearby woods.
Gopher Tortoises are actually considered a “threatened” species by the state of Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. In fact, the commission says that if motorists encounter tortoises and decide to try and do move them along the road themselves, the tortoise must be moved in the same direction it was originally headed, and not moved into a different location.
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