OCEANSIDE, CA. (CNN) - A possible case of animal cruelty is being investigated in Oceanside, California. Someone taped a box turtle to a bunch of balloons -- and it got stuck in a tree.
John Carroll has the story.
"We look up and there's red and green balloons up there."
And hanging from those balloons was this little box turtle.
Chanelle Wright knew she had to get the turtle down from there.
"He was just swinging his arms trying to get out of it. Somebody had taped him to the balloons."
Then, Wright got on her cell phone.
"I called the humane society to try to get the fire department out here, but it took about an hour for everybody to actually show up."
In the meantime, the turtle hung dangling in the wind.
That's when Joel Rabagos' mother got out her camera and started taking video of the turtle.
"When something like this happens, she always takes the video camera no matter what it is."
The fire department eventually rolled up with a big ladder truck, but as they were about to rescue the turtle, a gust of wind blew him down to earth.
You can see here as a humane society employee cut the turtle free from the balloons.
"What kind of turtle is that anyways, do you know? It's like a box turtle.")
Fortunately, the turtle wasn't physically hurt.
But both Chanelle Wright and Joel Rabagos are outraged that anyone could treat an animal like this.
"What were you thinking? I mean, a turtle is still like life. There's no reason to be putting him up in a balloon and sending him off
"It’s animal abuse. If you didn't want the turtle, give it away; take it to a pet store."
This picture is of the turtle now being held at the Oceanside humane society while an investigation is conducted.
But, if no one claims it, Chanelle Wright says she and her family are ready to give it a new, loving home.
"I am going to call and see if the turtle's there so, I’m gonna get my turtle."
If detectives can find out who taped the turtle to the balloons, they could face charges of animal abuse.