Man Fined for Giving Turtles as Prizes at Mid-State Fair

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    NEWSLETTERS

    PASO ROBLES, Calif. (AP)  A California Mid-State Fair carnival game operator has been fined for giving away baby turtles as prizes because the tiny creatures are considered a health risk.
     

    The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1bW3cEh ) 41-year-old Steve John Lopez was fined $1,000 and could face probation.  
    The tiny turtles were given away at a game where contestants try to throw ping pong balls into floating rings.
     
    Turtles and other reptiles can pose a threat of salmonella with their droppings, but baby turtles are considered more of a health risk because they're handled more frequently.
     
    It's illegal to distribute turtles smaller than 4 inches long.
     
    Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Todd Tognazzini says the department is pursuing a criminal complaint.