Four tortoises seized from a New Jersey home are being evaluated at a rescue zoo.
Some of them had cracked shells, which had to be sealed using a special epoxy.
But Popcorn Park Zoo General manager John Bergmann says they don't look too bad. Veterinarians specialising in exotic animals will examine them today (NZ time).
Richard Hines Jr of Highlands is charged with possession of exotic species without a permit.
State Environmental Protection Department spokesman Larry Ragonese says neighbours reported what they described as "crying" by the tortoises and were feeding them. The tortoises - one weighing more than 225 kilograms - were being kept in the yard.
The reptiles are Aldabra tortoises, which are second in size only to the Galapagos tortoise.