By Josh Saunders
Two turtles have been rescued from certain death after suffering ELECTRIC DRILL WOUNDS to their shells, being hooked and chained together.
John Vizcarrondo, 22, from Kissimee, Florida, USA, saved the poor pair that had been victims of appalling animal abuse while paddleboarding last month.
He was out on the creek showing customers wildlife, when he spotted what looked like a turtle trapped among algae and other plants.
After lifting the creature up, he discovered two hooks and a rusting six-inch chain that connected the two turtles together.
The kayak rental employee swam back to shore, where he and colleague Tiki used bolt cutters to free the trapped twosome and released them back into the water.
John said: “I had never seen anything like this in my life before. It was very obscene, and I had never heard of anyone doing that to a turtle of all creatures.
“When I picked up the one turtle I noticed it was caught on a fish hook, it felt like it was caught in something, so I tried to free it.
“As I lifted it up the turtle got heavier and heavier, I thought it was connected to algae or reeds, but when I put my other hand in there it was another turtle connected to it by a chain.
“I picked up both turtles in one hand and paddled back to shore, which was a hard-five-minute struggle against the current.
“When I got on the shore I yelled out to one of my co-workers, I ran to get the bolt cutters and we cut away at the chains.
“While Tiki was cutting the chain, the turtles jolted a little in fear, they looked scared and were so vulnerable.
“Later, when we released them back into the water they were slowly rocking and as the current came in they drifted and swam away.
“This was no accident, there was a perfectly sized round hole, it looked as if an electric drill was used on each of the turtles’ shells.
“Turtles feel everything on their shells, I’m pretty sure when the holes were put in they would have been in excruciating pain.
“The hook wasn’t something you could pry off easily without brute strength.
“If I hadn’t seen those turtles on the water they wouldn’t have survived, they were in a position where they couldn’t move.”
John maintains he had never seen animal abuse like this in the past, especially towards turtles, one of whom was a Florida cooter and the other a specie not native the area.
He added: “The one did have red paint on it, one turtle looked like it had the numeral two and the other could have had a faded one on its back.
“They were chained together end to end, it was obscene, you hear of animal abuse against cats and dogs but never to turtles.
“Knowing that people have the capacity to do something like this without repercussions is shocking.”
Since posting the images online, John has seen an outpouring of sympathy for the creatures on social media and frustration that the abuse happened.
He said: “There has been a lot of support, words of encouragement and anger over the situation.
“I think it’s good to show people as it proves that this can happen.
“If you don’t want something bad happening to you why would you want it to happen to an animal.”