Giant Turtle Stops Traffic And Draws Crowd, All For Awareness

A giant 50-year-old turtle caused quite a commotion on Highway 17 in Jacksonville Thursday.

Ben, a 300-pound Sulcata tortoise, was walking the streets of Jacksonville. He was brought there by Randy Gallagher of Sunset Beach, who rescues the tortoises and brought Ben out to raise awareness.

"The animal are in dire straights, because we are selling them as pet trade animals and there isn't enough room around for people to keep them," said Gallagher. "People buy them that really can't have them because they just get too big for most households."

The tortoises are native to the Sahara. While they are protected animals and can no longer legally be brought into the U.S. from Africa, people in America breed them and sell them in pet stores.

You can contact Randy Gallagher at 843-241-6311.

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