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Turtle Taped To Balloons, Floats Into Tree

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered a $2,500 reward today for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever taped a box turtle to a cluster of helium balloons and floated the reptile into a tree in Oceanside.

The turtle, caught high in a eucalyptus tree on Humboldt Bay Way, was blown free and floated to the ground about the time firefighters with a ladder truck were about the grab it around 4 p.m. Sunday, according to witnesses.

The roughly hand-sized turtle, which was unhurt, will be available for adoption if the owner does not come forward soon, said Kelli Herwehe of the San Diego County Humane Society.

She said the culprit could face criminal charges.

A financial inducement might prompt someone to step forward, according to PETA.

"This helpless turtle was undoubtedly terrified by this ordeal," said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA's senior vice president of cruelty investigations.

"Perpetrators of cruel or violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders, so it's crucial that this abuser be brought to justice immediately."

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Humane Society at (619) 243-3466.

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