LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J.--animal welfare Authorities are offering a reward of $ 1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for a group of soft shell turtles along the road in Northern New Jersey.
Animals, who come from the South and cannot survive in the climate Northeast, were identified by a motorist along the Passaic River in West New York on Thursday. A woman stopped her car when she saw a flock of seagulls attacking them, shooed away and asked for help.
Four of the 10 turtles froze to death; the remaining six were taken to an animal shelter and are recovering from the wounds that have suffered the onslaught of bird.
John Bergmann, general manager of Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, said that animals native to Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
"They definitely don't survive in our climate," he said. "That's why we believe that all 10 turtles were here."
It is illegal in New Jersey for their turtles as pets without a permit.
Soft Shell turtles-actually have a shell, called a carapace, which is not as difficult as those on other turtles. This makes them more vulnerable to injury and sensitive to cold.
Are round, with a nose long and slender. Females can grow to 24 inches long, while the males grow to half.
They are extremely shy around people and will be blocked when threatened, Bergmann said.
Popcorn Park Zoo, which takes care of the injured and abandoned animals, is looking for an individual plant or wildlife rehabilitator South that can properly care for turtles.