Two Scottsboro, Alabama, women faced a massive online outcry after a video they made of them running over a turtle was shared on Facebook. The pictures and video are graphic and include strong language.
“He’s getting really really close to me, I think he’s going to jump up in this vehicle,” a woman says in the video.
“Let’s just run him over,” she says, then again, “Let’s run him over, for real.”
“For real?” another woman says.
The video then cuts to another shot of the turtle, now dead and lying in a puddle of blood with its organs bursting out the side.
“Can someone please explain to Courtney that this is, like, not a turtle, because turtles don’t have this” — here she zooms in on the turtle’s guts — “come out whenever you run them over soooo ... yeah.”
The caption on the last video says, “This demogorgon needs to go back to the upside down hell nah,” a reference to the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which features otherwordly monsters.
The videos, originally shot on Snapchat, were filmed with a separate camera and shared to Facebook, where they’ve been viewed more than 45,000 times.
“This is horrible. They should be ashamed,” said one woman on Facebook.
“It’s one thing to be driving and a turtle or animal to get hit by accident but when you do it on purpose you just are plain cruel,” another commenter said.
Now Dakota O’Rear and Cortney Hobbs have been cited for using prohibited hunting methods, reported WAAY.
The women told the station they had been trying to rescue the turtle from the road, but when it started snapping at them they decided to just run it over. They said they’ve received death threats over the video.
“People saying they’re going to kill my family, that I need to kill myself. That they’re going to burn my house on fire,” one of them told the station.
A representative with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources told News.com.au he “did not like what [he] saw” when he viewed the video online.
He told the site the two women would most likely get hit with a fine, but a decision would be made when they appear in court later in March.
The incident is similar — though not as extreme as — another video from Florida filmed in 2014, in which two teens laughed as they tried to light a gopher tortoise on fire and then stomped it to death. Both were charged with felony cruelty to animals and killing a gopher tortoise, AL.com reported.
Snapping turtles are not endangered, but all turtles have some protection in the state of Alabama. There are restrictions on the number of turtles that may be killed and how they may be hunted.