An unknown perpetrator hit a Greek turtle at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden with a stone on Wednesday afternoon. The animal was later found by caretakers at the pre-closure check, but its injuries were so severe that the veterinarians could not save the animal and it had to be euthanized.
In order to clarify the exact circumstances of the case, the zoo watched the recordings of the surveillance cameras on Thursday morning, in which the perpetrator and the person accompanying her are both clearly visible.
The police have since released a photo from the zoo’s camera recordings of the woman who fatally injured the turtle. According to the police’s personal description, the woman in question is about 20-25 years old, thin, with long brown hair, and wore a black, long-sleeve shirt, with green dungarees and sports shoes at the time of the crime.
Budapest XIV. District Police asks if anyone recognizes the woman in the pictures or has information about her identity, whereabouts, or the crime itself, to report it anonymously through the free telephone number: 06-80-555-111, or the 107 or 112 emergency numbers. (police.hu)
The surveillance recordings show that it is likely that the woman removed the animal from its enclosure, but it seems that the turtle defecated into her hand, which is a natural mechanism of these kinds of animals.
According to the zoo, the woman hit the turtle with a stone. Zookeepers found its body in great pain later in the evening. The armor covering its body was completely split on both the abdominal and dorsal sides by a two-finger width length, and his internal organs were severely injured as well.
Killing or injuring a protected animal species is a crime of animal cruelty, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years.