A New Jersey man who kept four tortoises in his backyard has agreed to pay more than $2,000 in fines, fees and court costs.
Richard Hines faced up to $20,000 in penalties before authorities dropped six animal cruelty charges against him and downgraded two others to civil summonses.
Authorities seized the four Aldabra tortoises from Hines’ yard in Highlands in September. Neighbors reported hearing what they described as “crying” and were feeding the reptiles.
The tortoises, which range in size from 7 pounds to 320 pounds, were taken to the Popcorn Park Zoo. Officials say are they are doing well.
After Tuesday's hearing, Hines told the Asbury Park Press he's satisfied with the verdict but misses his pets.