ELMA, N.Y. -- A video of an Elma teen harassing a turtle, including striking its shell with a stick, has gotten a lot of attention online -- and now it has resulted in the teen being charged.
Thursday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced it has charged a 16-year-old from Elma with illegally pursuing wildlife and attempting to take wildlife during a closed season. Both charges are Environmental Conservation Law violations with a potential fine of $250 or up to 15 days in jail.
The teen is scheduled to appear in the Town of Elma Court July 13. The 16-year-old's name is not being released due to his age.
The DEC reminds everyone in New York State that it's illegal to harass wildlife, which includes snapping turtles, because they are protected under NYS environmental conservation law.
Anyone who sees wildlife being harmed is encouraged to report it to an Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) by contacting the DEC's 24-hour hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).