Turtles Are Getting Mysteriously Ill in Central Florida, and Scientists Need Help!

Wildlife officials in Florida are sounding the alarm on a virus that is threatening turtles across the state. The slow-moving, shelled reptiles are suffering – there are reports of turtles with swollen or sunken eyes, red, irritated skin, and lethargy so intense that they don't even flee from predators or humans. The state must fund immediate programs to protect the turtles, including research on the virus and better public awareness!  

Sign the petition now to push Florida to invest more money into researching this virus and creating a public awareness campaign to protect our beloved turtles!

Softshells, cooters, sliders, and common snapping turtles are among the species suffering from this awful virus. Infected turtles may appear sick or even be acting as though they are dead. Crucially, members of the public should never attempt to move or touch turtles, whether they look healthy or in need of help. The best thing Floridians can do is call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission so that experts and researchers can assist the turtle and better understand the virus' impacts. But not everyone may be aware of these best practices, which is why Florida needs to invest in education and awareness campaigns as well as research into how to stop the spread of this devastating illness! 

Florida is one of the most biodiverse states in the U.S., meaning its ecosystem – and every animal in it – plays a key role in the health of the nation's environment. We don't know the exact risks that this virus poses to other wildlife or humans – but we know that the novel coronavirus, which has plunged us into a pandemic for the last two years, was zoonotic, meaning it started in animals.  It is absolutely essential that scientists study this virus to protect all animals in the ecosystem, along with humans. Sign the petition now to push Florida to give money towards studying this virus and educating the public on it!
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