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200lb Pet Tortoise Killed After Being Run Over By People 'Attempting To Steal It'

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200lb Pet Tortoise Killed After Being Run Over By People 'Attempting To Steal It'

A 200lb pet tortoise has died after being run over by two people seemingly attempting to make off with her, who bolted when they were confronted by the animal's owner.

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Ring doorbell footage shows two people outside the home of Jerry Fife - who lives near Phoenix, Arizona - in the early hours of 7 June.

They seemed to be trying to steal Fife's Galapagos tortoise, called Jasmine, with the surveillance camera capturing them as they bent down to scoop up the large animal.

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But Fife saw what was happening and ran out to ward them off, calling out to them: "Get out of here!"

The two figures in the video can be seen immediately dropping Jasmine before getting into their car to flee.

However, in their desperation to get away from Fife's home, they ended up running over the tortoise that they'd seemingly been trying to snatch.

Credit: Ring/Jerry Fife
Credit: Ring/Jerry Fife
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Speaking to Inside Edition, Fife said: "They jumped in their truck, and in their haste to escape, flipped their truck around and ran over the tortoise."

Fife rushed Jasmine to a vet specialising in tortoise care, but sadly the injuries she sustained in the incident were too serious, and his beloved pet died.

Dr Jim Jarchow, the vet who treated her, said he had never seen injuries so catastrophic in a giant tortoise before.

Fife raises tortoises at his home, and had had Jasmine since she was hatched 27 years ago.

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He said: "That tortoise has been with me longer than any other living thing in my life."

Fife added: "In the U.S., the giant tortoise can go for anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000. If they're able to smuggle it out of the country, it could go up to $200,000."

Jerry Fife. Credit: CBS
Jerry Fife. Credit: CBS

He now hopes to find the people responsible, saying in a Facebook post: "At 2.30am someone broke into my yard and attempted to steal my Galapagos tortoise. Unfortunately, they ran over it getting away. Reward for any information leading to their arrest."

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He also shared a graphic image of the damage to Jasmine's shell.

A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up on his behalf to raise money for a reward for information, having already raised more than $13,000 (£9,000) of its $25,000 (£17,700) goal.

A description reads: "As they sped away, they ran right over the top of Jasmine, breaking her spine and crushing her lung field.

"Although this egg-laying female was rushed to a veterinarian that specializes in tortoise care, she is no longer alive. The decision was made to humanely euthanize Jasmine because the extent of her wounds were too severe for repair.

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"There exists no kinder, gentler animal than a tortoise. Our community is shocked and saddened by what has happened.

"Please help us raise money for a reward to help us locate the individuals who carried out this horrific act so that they can be brought to justice."

LADbible has contacted Phoenix Police for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Ring/Jerry Fife

Topics: News, cctv, US News, Animals

Jess Hardiman
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