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Teenage girls arrested for torturing pet gopher tortoise by lighting it on fire

Jennifer Greene, 18 and Danielle Dionne were arrested on Friday and charged with felony animal cruelty in the killing of a gopher tortoise in Orange Park, Florida this past week reported news4jax.com. The teens videoed the horrendous act and posted it on Facebook, as they set the tortoise on fire, tossed it to the sidewalk and then stomped on it until it was dead.

Two teenage girls were arrested on Friday after they posted a video as they tortured and killed a threatened species gopher tortoise.
Two teenage girls were arrested on Friday after they posted a video as they tortured and killed a threatened species gopher tortoise.Facebook freezeshot of video

The Facebook video went viral as viewers were outraged at such callous regard for a defenseless animal's life and the teens hideous laughter to be heard in the background as they carried out their torturous behavior.

Multiple complaints were filed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; an investigation began, and the arrests were carried out on Friday. The video is not shown in its entirety nor is all the expletive language included.

In the video, parts of the conversation went like this:

"Let's light his head on fire," one said.

"Burn baby, burn baby," one said.

"Now you're scared of us, huh?" one said.

"Ugh, I just want him to die," one said.

Both Greene and Dionne were charged with felony animal cruelty in the third degree for killing the gopher tortoise who is classified as a threatened species, and both were charged with a second degree misdemeanor for taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise. If found guilty of the felony, the teens face up to five years in prison. The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The younger teen will be turned over to the juvenile court system.

Be warned that the video can be disturbing and may not be suitable for all viewing audiences.

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