Reward hike for info on Arizona tortoise killing

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- The reward has been increased for information leading to determining who shot and killed a desert tortoise near Fountain Hills.

The tortoise was a member of a protected species and part of a long-term research project.

Game and Fish officials say the tortoise was killed near the Beeline Highway about 15 miles north of Fountain Hills.

It was last seen alive on Aug. 18 during routine monitoring by the department's non-game biologists and found dead on Aug. 25, but investigators believe it was killed around Aug. 20.

The tortoise was the second of 15 tortoises to have a transmitter affixed and had been tracked since 2010.

The Arizona Herpetological Association, Desert Tortoise Council, Phoenix Herpetological Society and Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter have pledged $2,650 for an arrest or conviction.

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