A 20-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday after police say they have discovered at least seven missing zoo animals inside of his Gainesville apartment
Sante Fe College Police arrested Sedrick T. Price at his apartment where they recovered seven of 11 stolen animals from the college’s teaching zoo within the last two weeks. He is facing a charge of grand larceny, according to 4News Gainesville.
College police and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said that three Florida box turtles, two red-foot tortoises, a skink and a squirrel monkey were found inside the apartment, the outlet reported.Six of the seven animals found were all taken sometime overnight between May 29 and May 30, officials said.
Four more animals – two gopher tortoises and two box turtles – are still missing, police said. Those four were stolen the week before, along with one box turtle found Tuesday.
Police say that evidence at the zoo indicated that the animals were forcefully taken from their enclosures.
Officials said they discovered the animals because of a tip and zoo employees and students helped to positively identify the animals.
“It was a great collaboration of effort from the community,” SFPD Chief Ed Book said in a statement. “We are grateful for the many tips we received from the public, as well as the coordinated efforts of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the college community that led to the rescue of these animals. Our investigation still has a long way to go, but recovering these animals was a great start.”
The teaching zoo’s director, Jonathan Miot, also said he is happy to see the animals were returned.
“Thankfully, the police received a tip that led to the recovery of the animals,” Miot’s statement read. “We are still hopeful that the two gopher tortoises and two box turtles who need medical attention are recovered.”