Rare and Endangered Turtles Reportedly Imprisoned Among Trash Deserve Justice

Target: Martha Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Curb the illicit trafficking and cruel treatment of protected turtles.

In a disquieting development out of Bibb County, Georgia, Steven Verren Baker, a South Carolina man with prior convictions of turtle smuggling between the United States and Hong Kong, finds himself embroiled in a new set of grave allegations. Arrested and charged with 15 felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, Baker remains incarcerated, with bail set at $8,250. Law enforcement chanced upon the troubling scene while responding to an unrelated call, discovering turtles kept in abysmal conditions in a basin concealed amidst rubbish.

Medical evaluation suggests these turtles have undergone long-term malnutrition, bacterial and fungal infections, sepsis, and even shell deformities. Among the animals are 11 rare albino red-eared sliders and an endangered Chinese golden thread turtle—species that bespeak the urgent need for stringent protective measures.

It cannot be overemphasized that the exploitation and mistreatment of these vulnerable creatures constitute not merely an ethical lapse but also criminal transgressions as per existing legislation. As a society, the commitment to protect all forms of life reflects our collective ethos of compassion, justice, and integrity. If such cases go unaddressed, it not only emboldens other potential perpetrators but undermines public trust in the nation’s commitment to wildlife conservation. Take immediate action.


Dear Director Williams,

We, the undersigned, express grave concern over the recently uncovered allegations of aggravated animal cruelty in Bibb County, Georgia. According to reports, Steven Verren Baker, already convicted for similar offenses, allegedly mistreated and endangered a number of turtles, some of which are rare or endangered species.

Use your authority for the implementation of stringent regulations and vigilant monitoring mechanisms to prevent further occurrences. It remains crucial for the resources required for thorough investigations to be allocated swiftly in matters such as these.

We, as concerned global citizens, advocate for decisive action that communicates a zero-tolerance policy towards the illegal trafficking and mistreatment of protected turtles. Ignoring such malfeasance would be a travesty of justice and a betrayal of the values.

Yours faithfully,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: 阿宏

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