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CITRUS COUNTY, FL - A Florida man was caught with a container full of the endangered gopher tortoises that he said he planned on eating.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conversation officer set up video surveillance after he went to investigate a tip of someone killing tortoises in a wooded area after several shells were found.

F.W.C. officer Reid said he set up a trail camera and went back the next day to see if anything turned up for surveillance. Officer Reid said he found a container with 11 live gopher tortoises inside.

FWC reported he waited to see if anyone would come back to pick up the tortoises and sure enough a man came and began to move the tortoises to the back of his truck.

Officer Reid identified himself and read the man his Miranda rights.

The man told Reid that he had killed 15 gopher tortoises and dumped the shells in the woods and that he had caught the 11 that were in the container and was planning on eating them.

FWC staff set them free and is now working with the State Attorney's Office to file appropriate charges against man for killing a threatened species.

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