Residents angry over spray-painting of turtle

May 7, 2008 4:29:07 AM PDT

Myrtle, as the turtle is known, was recently found roaming the backyards near Roebling Street and Union Avenue in the Williamsburg section sporting a fresh coat of garish orange paint on its shell.

"To me, it's beyond just being an inhumane act. To me, it's an abomination," said one resident and caretaker of the critter, Meredith Chesney, to a TV reporter.

Chesney and other residents speculated that the turtle was sprayed as a prank at a nearby construction site where workers use paint of the same color.

Some bloggers who focus on Brooklyn real estate and development have latched onto the turtle's plight as a symbol of unscrupulous construction in the borough.

"I've probably done a thousand posts about illegal construction and violating regulations with impunity but this probably ticked me off more than anything," said Robert Guskind, founder of the Gowanus Lounge blog, in Tuesday editions of Newsday. "In the grand scheme I know it's symbolic, but it really makes my blood boil."

Chesney said she tried unsuccessfully to remove the paint from the box turtle's shell. "You can't use solvents or paint removers," she said. "That's not good for the turtle."


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