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Law and Order

Former OKC Zoo Employee Likes To Sell Turtles

9:05 AM EST on March 5, 2021

According to always reliable internet statistics, 75% of employees have stolen from an employer at least once in their life.

As a guy who always enjoyed drinking free beer with his fellow servers after we closed Applebee's for the night, and has recently noticed an eBay account called CómpraloYa69 selling Lost Ogle ink pens for pennies on the dollar, that sounds about right.

In fact, employer theft is so common that even the Oklahoma City Zoo has fallen victim to it. Earlier this week, news reports came out that an entrepreneurial now ex-employee named Joshua Lucas was stealing baby tortoise hatchlings and selling them to a dude in Las Vegas.

A former Oklahoma City Zoo employee was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty to trafficking stolen Galapagos tortoise hatchlings, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Joshua Taylor Lucas of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty in federal court in Oklahoma City to a felony wildlife trafficking count. The former assistant curator of herpetology at the Oklahoma City Zoo admitted that he stole several hatchlings while working at the zoo and shipping them to a Nevada man.

Besides three years’ probation and 100 hours of community service, Taylor was ordered to pay $32,500 in restitution to the Oklahoma City Zoo.

You know how when you adopt a puppy they say you need to be prepared to take care of the animal for anywhere from 10 - 15 years? How's that work when you adopt a tortoise hatchling on the black market?

"And just sign this form right here. It acknowledges you'll take care of the turtle for the next 100 - 150 years, and if you can't, you'll return it back to us for re-adoption."

Seriously, never buy an animal that your great-great-great grandkids are going to be forced to take care of someday. That's not cool.

News Channel 8 caught up with Lucas and asked him point-blank why he committed the crime. This was his response:

Actually, I think the real reason he stole the turtles was that his Las Vegas buyer was shelling out $5,000 for the reptiles. Based on what I learned from watching Tiger King, that's twice the cost of a tiger.

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