tagged w/ Tortoises
"Major Wildlife Trafficker" Gets 21 Months for Smuggling In Live Turtles, Tortoises and Lizards in Snack Food BoxesCBS News...
‘Major Wildlife Trafficker’ Gets 21 Months For Smuggling Live Turtles, Tortoises In Snack Food Boxes
April 30, 2012 1:30 PM
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man federal authorities call “a major wildlife trafficker” was sentenced Monday to 21 months in federal prison for smuggling 55 live turtles and tortoises inside snack food boxes into the United States last year.
Atushi Yamagami, 39, of Osaka, Japan, was sentenced Monday morning and additionally ordered to pay a $19,403 criminal fine.
Yamagami pleaded guilty to smuggling the 55 reptiles from Japan in August. Most of the smuggled animals were species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Federal prosecutors had also argued that the method of cramming the turtles into snack food packages, that were then stuffed into suitcases, constituted animal cruelty and that the animals posed the risk of transmitting salmonella.
Since his arrest at Los Angeles International Airport in January 2011, Yamagami has been held without bail.
Federal agents say Yamagami was the leader of an organized group of Japanese nationals responsible for smuggling protected turtles, tortoises, chameleons and lizards into and out of the U.S., primarily through airports in Honolulu and Los Angeles. After smuggling them into the country, Yamagami would sell or trade them at reptile shows across the U.S., using the proceeds to buy snakes, turtles and tortoises native to North America, prosecutors said.
An investigation determined that between 2004 and 2011, Yamagami and his couriers took 42 trips to and from the U.S., according to federal agents.
Norihide Ushirozako and Hiroki Uetsuki, two of Yamagami’s couriers from Osaka, were arrested and prosecuted for wildlife smuggling in 2011. Ushirozako was sentenced in August to time served — approximately seven months — and Uetsuki was also sentenced to time served, approximately six months.
.CBS News... . ‘Major Wildlife Trafficker’ Gets 21 Months For... more
Los Angeles Considers Putting L.A. Zoo Operations into Private Hands | Why Not Create a Sanctuary, Instead?L.A. considers putting zoo operations in private hands
Officials say the change would save nearly $20 million over five years and prevent possible closure. Critics question the savings and say the move could mean less transparency in animal welfare.
Los Angeles Zoo
Photo: Zoo patrons view a pair of Masai giraffes at the Los Angeles Zoo. Two potential private operators have expressed interest in running the zoo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2011
Someone else may soon be tending to the misty artificial rain forest at the Los Angeles Zoo where Bruno, a 300-pound orangutan with a wispy orange beard and a hulking frame, makes his home.
The city opened the zoo and botanical gardens in 1966, but officials are now considering a proposal to turn over management to a private operator. That means the gardeners, plumbers and other city employees who help run the zoo could be transferred to other departments and replaced with private workers.
Like any issue involving labor — or animals — the fight over the fate of the zoo has caused a considerable stir.
City officials say the change would save nearly $20 million over the next five years and rescue the zoo from possible budget reductions or even closure. But opponents of the plan question the savings and warn that privatization could mean steeper ticket prices for the zoo's 1.5 million annual visitors and less transparency when it comes to animal welfare.
The zoo plan is only the latest example of a shift in how budget-strapped officials think about "core services" and City Hall's basic obligations to taxpayers. They are also considering proposals to privatize the Los Angeles Convention Center, an animal shelter in the San Fernando Valley and several arts facilities.
Such public-private partnerships are common in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History are two county facilities operated by nonprofit organizations.
"It's not a revolutionary idea," said Miguel Santana, L.A.'s chief administrative officer, who came to City Hall from the county in 2009. "This model has worked across the country as a way of ensuring services are maintained in an era of declining revenues."
According to a draft proposal for the zoo plan, which the City Council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee will consider Thursday, Bruno and the rest of the animals would remain the property of the city, along with the zoo's Griffith Park grounds.
All current staff would remain employees of the city, but those who do not hold zoo-specific jobs might be transferred to other city departments. Future hires would be employees of the new operator.
Two potential operators have already stepped forward.
One is the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., or GLAZA, a nonprofit headquartered on the zoo's campus that raises money for the institution, manages its memberships and operates its concessions. In 2010-11, it raised about $13 million for the zoo, according to GLAZA President Connie Morgan
The other party is Parques Reunidos, a Madrid-based theme park operator that runs 70 amusement parks, water parks and zoos worldwide.
Dave Towne, a former consultant for the L.A. Zoo, said that if a private company takes over, the face of the zoo may change. "Any private, for-profit operation is going to Disney-fy it," he said. "That's just what they do."
Towne, former director of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, oversaw the transition of that zoo's management to a nonprofit 10 years ago. He said private operators run the majority of the nation's major zoos and are often more successful at marketing and fundraising than cities, in part because they are less encumbered by bureaucracy.
Animal activists fear that could result in a lack of transparency. Catherine Doyle, of In Defense of Animals, said that if the zoo is privatized, "it will become even more secretive and insular."
She and others have long accused the zoo's management of not being forthcoming about animal care, and have asked that the operator be required to answer to a city-appointed animal welfare commission.
Adriana Hawkins, a zoo gardener for six years, says everyone will suffer if longtime employees are reassigned. The zoo will lose expertise, she said, and the employees will lose jobs they love.
"I don't want to go down to the harbor; I don't want to spend my life on the freeway," Hawkins said. "I have a passion for the zoo."
Santana and others have said that privatizing the zoo will allow it to flourish. A report he commissioned said that under private management, the zoo would be able to reap up to $3.8 million more each year in revenue, thanks to new opportunities for corporate sponsorship, fundraising and special events.
But City Councilman Richard Alarcon said that's all the more reason to keep control of the zoo. "If a private corporation can make it profitable, why can't we?" he said.
It costs $26 million a year to run the zoo and pay the salaries, benefits and pensions of more than 200 employees. The city contributes about $14.6 million; the rest of the budget comes from ticket sales and donations.
Officials say if the city does not privatize management, that figure could grow as high as $19.4 million by 2015. But even if it does complete a deal, the city will still contribute about $13.8 million to the zoo in 2015, according to the proposal.
The savings may be small in the short term, but Santana insists that it adds up. Next year, he and other officials will have to find a way to close a $200-million budget deficit.
.L.A. considers putting zoo operations in private hands Officials say the change... more
A secret oasis for the world's most endangered turtles
The Turtle Conservancy, tucked in the foothills of Ventura County, cares for species ravaged by habitat loss, wildfires, hunting and black markets. Its latest project: breeding the rare ploughshare tortoise.
Photo: Eric Goode and his team hope to mate two ploughshare tortoises, one of the rarest species in the world. Fewer than 300 remain in the wilds of Madagascar, and previous efforts to breed them in captivity have gone awry. (Stefano Paltera, For The Times / June 5, 2011)
By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
June 5, 2011
Reporting from Ventura, Calif.—
When it comes to caring for the world's rarest cold-blooded animals, few places match the pampering and security provided to hundreds of critically endangered turtles and tortoises at a secret compound in the foothills of Los Padres National Forest.
In paddocks and aquariums protected by surveillance cameras and electric wire, Okinawa leaf turtles feast on silkworms and mulberries in a temperature-controlled greenhouse. Nest-building Burmese black mountain tortoises relax in piles of freshly cut oak, sycamore and bamboo. Forest-dwelling impressed tortoises dine exclusively on organically grown oyster mushrooms. Philippine pond turtles spend the night in snug tunnels made of cork bark.
But Saturday's VIPs were eight ploughshare tortoises flown in from Hong Kong in padded crates. Among them is a female of breeding age, which Eric Goode and his associates at the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center hope to mate with the only male ploughshare tortoise of breeding age in North America.
"That male, which is en route from a zoo in Texas, hasn't seen a female ploughshare tortoise of breeding age in more than 25 years," Goode said as he marveled at the new arrivals in a quarantined pen. "We're hoping for the best. These creatures have seen nothing but bad luck, corruption and greed in captivity."
Some would call that an understatement. With fewer than 300 left in the wilds of Madagascar, the ploughshare tortoise holds the dubious distinction of being the rarest tortoise on Earth. They are heavily targeted by global animal traffickers, and the high-domed creatures fetch tens of thousands of dollars on the Asian black market, conservationists say.
Until recently, attempts to breed the ploughshare tortoise outside of Madagascar failed miserably. In the early 1980s, a male died shortly after zoo workers in Honolulu used an electric device to procure semen from the animal. A female that it was supposed to have mated with had her ovaries removed during a botched operation.
"Given their plight and scarcity, it took more than a decade of hard work by us, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and Hong Kong authorities and conservationists to get these eight tortoises into our compound," said Paul Gibbons, managing director of the Behler Chelonian Center. "But, then, a lot of the animals in our pens have similar stories to tell."
Many of the species found on the compound are nearing extinction because of habitat loss, wildfires, hunting and black markets.
"International animal trafficking is a dark and dangerous subculture," Goode said. "Certain dealers will go to great extents to get their hands on these animals. That is why, although we are certified by the American Zoo and Aquarium Assn., we are not open to the public."
There is no sign outside the facility, nor is it listed in the phone book. "Theft is a reality," Goode said. "The only visitors are turtle biologists from around the world."
The conservancy was established in 2005 with 250 rare turtles transferred from a Bronx Zoo collection that had been housed at Saint Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia. Today, the conservancy mostly manages animals seized from illegal trafficking operations or bred in its rock-and-mortar outdoor pens.
The conservancy's primary mission is to maintain "assurance colonies" of threatened and endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles, such as the four Galapagos tortoises that lumbered across a manicured lawn in a pen shaded by tropical plants and oaks Saturday.
It also lends some of its reptiles to zoos around the world and collaborates with conservationists to protect the rarest species from extinction. For example, the conservancy has been working with biologists in the United States and Mexico to revive bolson tortoise populations in the hot and thorny Chihuahuan Desert south of the Rio Grande Valley.
Once as plentiful as jackrabbits, only an estimated 5,000 bolson tortoises survive today. Cactus fruit is the bolson's dish of choice, and it's always on the menu at the conservancy.
"We specialize in creating environments that are peaceful and natural as possible for our turtles," Goode said.A secret oasis for the world's most endangered turtles The Turtle Conservancy,... more
Los Angeles Times...
Photo: A federally threatened desert tortoise looks out of its burrow in the Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
Endangered tortoises delay Mojave Desert solar plant
April 28, 2011 | 12:18 pm
Tortoise allen j. schaben
The Obama administration has halted the building of two-thirds of a massive solar project in San Bernardino's Mojave Desert as a new federal assessment found that more than 600 endangered desert tortoises would die as a result of construction.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management assessment this week disputed the estimate by BrightSource Energy, developer of the 392 MW solar thermal plant, that only 38 of the reptiles would be disturbed by construction at the 5.6-square mile Ivanpah Valley site near Primm, Nev. [corrected: an earlier version of this post said 5.6 acres]
Questions concerning the California tortoises highlight the friction between wilderness conservation and the quest for cleaner power. Many environmentalists contend it would be preferable to subsidize smaller solar arrays on commercial and residential rooftops, or on industrial acreage, than offer government loan guarantees to large complexes on wildlands that require transmission lines to transport the electricity to urban areas.
The federal order suspends construction activity on most of the Ivanpah project until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service redrafts a previous scientific opinion on the effect on the tortoise, which may come as soon as next month. The Oakland-based BrightSource recently received a $1.6-billion federal loan guarantee for the project and intends to raise $250 million more after taking the company public.
In a statement, company spokesman Keely Wachs said the new government projections “are not consistent with the actual numbers of tortoise found on the project site. It appears that the largest concentrations of tortoise are outside the project and in areas that we designed the project to avoid."
The BLM's new assessment estimates that more than 3,000 acres of tortoise habitat would eventually be lost as a result of construction, and more than 160 adult tortoises in the project area will have to be captured and moved, in addition to 600 dying as a result of the project.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use the new estimates to determine whether finishing the project puts the species in jeopardy. If not, the agency is expected to set new limits on how many animals may be killed, injured or harassed.
Environmentalists wanted the energy complex relocated because they said it will harm tortoises. But BrightSource made design changes intended to alleviate environmental concerns.Los Angeles Times... Photo: A federally threatened desert tortoise looks out of... more
The New York Times
December 19, 2010
As Incomes Rise, So Does Animal Trade
By BETTINA WASSENER
HONG KONG — Four suitcases full of ivory, intercepted by customs at Suvarnabhumi International Airport near Bangkok. Rare tortoises, openly for sale at a fair in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. More than 2,000 frozen pangolins — scaly anteaters — seized from a fishing vessel off China.
Oh, and a 2-month-old tiger cub, alive but sedated, found inside a suitcase, also at the Bangkok airport.
If you think all of this sounds like old news — didn’t we see this in the 1970s and ’80s? — think again.
Every one of these incidents, documented by Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, took place within the past few months. They provide just a glimpse of the massive trade in endangered animals — and their bones, skins and other organs — that is taking place across Asia.
And they illustrate that half a century’s worth of efforts by governments, international organizations and conservationists have failed to stem wildlife trade and the extinction of numerous animals and plants.
Yes, conservation projects have helped preserve individual species, but over all the trade in rare creatures has grown, not shrunk — thanks largely to rising demand from an increasingly affluent Asia.
“I’ve been doing this job for close to 20 years,” said Chris R. Shepherd, who helps oversee Traffic’s Southeast Asia operations, “and I can say it’s never been anywhere near as bad as it is now.”
In the 1970s, when international conservation efforts began to take off, the issue was one of largely niche demand from wealthy consumers in the West. Now, however, the picture has changed radically.
Rapid growth across developing Asia over the past decade or two has caused wealth to increase quickly across much of the region. Credit Suisse, in a recent study, estimated that parts of Asia, including China, India and Indonesia, have seen the average wealth per adult soar between 100 percent and 400 percent since 2000.
Along with many of its neighbors, China is now a giant consumer of items like machinery, cars, washing powder, clothes and — yes — python-skin handbags and tiger penises, bear bile and other ingredients for traditional medicines or meals that once belonged to the aristocracy.
“Over the past 20 years, the nature of the demand has changed, thanks to a rising middle class in Asia,” said Colman O’Criodain, a wildlife trade policy analyst in Switzerland for the environmental group W.W.F. International.
James Compton, senior program director for Asia at Traffic, said from Beijing, “Whether it’s high-end luxury stores or the man on the street corner selling dried sea horses — you can see animals and animal parts being sold quite openly. Wildlife trade is now quite pervasive in Asia.”
The problem, experts say, is often not a lack of top-level political will. Many Asian countries, like those elsewhere, ban the trade of rare plants and animals. Rather, the problem is enforcement on the ground and growing demand from populations that are often simply not fully aware of just how endangered the creatures they are consuming are.
Wildlife species with high commercial value have declined drastically, and many are now rare, endangered or even locally extinct, Traffic wrote in a report about Southeast Asia in late 2008.
Figures are hard to come by, as only select species can be closely monitored. But here are a couple of examples to illustrate the scale of some the population declines:
•Some species of sharks are thought to have declined 90 percent. Considered a status symbol in Chinese culture, the soup made from pricey shark fins is now within the reach of many, many more people than it once was.
• There are now thought to be as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild globally, down from 100,000 a century ago. Despite their acute rarity and international bans on tiger trade, officials throughout most of the tiger range countries, which span Russia and much of Asia, are intercepting the claws, skins or bones of about 100 tigers every year, a report published by Traffic last month found.
On the upside, attitudes are starting to change. Shark’s fin soup, for example, is becoming a decidedly uncool meal to serve in Hong Kong, the main hub for trade in the fins.
And in mainland China, where there was barely any coverage of animal welfare and related topics a decade ago, the media are now engaged, said Jill Robinson, founder of the Animals Asia Foundation, which campaigns for animal welfare and the conservation of endangered animals.
The sale of bear bile — often harvested from animals kept in tiny cages, and used in traditional medicine to cure ailments as varied as headaches and hemorrhoids — is legal in China, and demand is booming. But many doctors are starting to turn away from its use, not least because of a growing realization that bile from bears farmed in such conditions is often diseased, Ms. Robinson said.
Unfortunately, these efforts, commendable though they are, make only a small dent. Unlike in the West, where generations of children have grown up with nature programs, populations in Asia are not yet sensitized to issues like conservation, said Mr. O’Criodain of the W.W.F.
And while some countries have pretty advanced projects for preserving terrestrial species, “most consider the resources of the high seas — including overfished species of fish — as up for grabs,” he added.
Often, said Mr. Compton of Traffic, it is actually the rarity of the animal that makes it attractive to consumers, driving up its price.
For example, in Vietnam, where it is illegal to sell bear bile, a milliliter, or one-fifth of a teaspoon, of fresh, liquid bear bile can fetch as much as $30 on the black market, Animals Asia said.
Such prices mean fines and other penalties are an insufficient deterrent to often impoverished local populations.
“Wildlife crime is becoming more and more organized and sophisticated, and enforcement capacities are not managing to keep up,” said Mr. Shepherd of Traffic.
“The political will is changing; we’re seeing a lot of high-level commitments. But we need to see that translate into action on the ground. Otherwise, it will just be business as usual.”
For some species, even the welcome change in awareness may already simply be too little, too late.The New York Times December 19, 2010 As Incomes Rise, So Does Animal Trade By... more
The illegal pet trade, along with hunting and habitat loss, are sending at least 9 of Madagascar's native turtles and tortoises toward extinction.
The Turtle Survival Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society warn that the radiated tortoise of Madagascar, is "rapidly nearing extinction" due to the illegal pet and meat trade. The species has just 20 years left, they predicted, if interventions aren't successful.
The dire conclusion comes after a field survey in Madagascar's spiny forest, which was once rife with tortoises; poachers have carted off truckloads of turtles and turtle meat, leaving an empty landscape akin to the American plains after the near-extermination of the bison.
"Areas where scores of radiated tortoises could be seen just a few years ago have been poached clean," said James Deutsch, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program. "Back then one could hardly fathom that this beautiful tortoise could ever become endangered, but such is the world we live in, and things can – and do – change rapidly."
Researchers say several factors contribute to the staggering decline of tortoise: years of extreme drought, which has sapped farm production; lack of enforcement against poachers, exacerbated by political instability; and loss of forest habitat to both farmers and invasive species.
Biodiversity hotspots like Madagascar are increasingly the focus of conservation, as the world tries to halt an extinction crisis that scientists believe is the first in the geologic record to be caused by one species, humans.
To bring attention to the issue, The Daily Green is republishing this feature, with updated information about the plight of this beautiful and critically endangered tortoise.The illegal pet trade, along with hunting and habitat loss, are sending at least 9 of... more
Sure, tortoises aren't the sexiest species on Earth--after all, cold, wrinkly skin isn't usually desirable, and shells really aren't that revealing. But, that isn't slowing one amorous old fellow from following his insatiable sexual appetite.
Link: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/70-year-old-tortoise-hasnt-lost-his-mojo.phpSure, tortoises aren't the sexiest species on Earth--after all, cold, wrinkly... more
As it prepares to expand training operations at Ft. Irwin in the Mojave Desert, the U.S. Army is again proposing to move more than 1,100 threatened California desert tortoises -- an unprecedented number of an endangered species that has not fared well during previous relocations.
The Army is seeking the approval of the federal Bureau of Land Management to move the tortoises from nearly 100,000 acres in portions of the National Training Center to lands managed by the BLM. The environmental assessment is under BLM review and the proposed action is open for a 15-day public comment period.
Let's kill of a species so our military can play with some tanks, awesommme! I think that this article really puts into perspective how little we care about peace, tranquility, and our place in the world and emphasizes just how blood thirsty and careless we are. I mean come on, there has to be some kind of metaphor or meaning behind our military killing off harmless creatures in the name of destruction and war.As it prepares to expand training operations at Ft. Irwin in the Mojave Desert, the... more
A giant tortoise with a big hole in its shell has been fitted with a specially made fibre-glass 'crash helmet' by vets while the hole heals.
Timmy the tortoise is thought to have been hurt in a fight with another tortoise at its home in Paignton Zoo, Devon. The zoo's vets came up with the idea of covering the hole in the Aldabra giant tortoise's shell to keep it clean and protected during the slow healing process - which could take 18 months.
The zoo's maintenance technician made the false shell for the tortoise after taking a cast from a scute (the plate or lump on the shell) of a similar size on another tortoise using a paper mould and Plaster of Paris. Very innovative.
He then cast a fibre glass 'crash helmet' and adjusted it so it fit Timmy perfectly.
Happy healing!A giant tortoise with a big hole in its shell has been fitted with a specially made... more
The Internet is full of people having sex with other people. It is also full of animals having sex with other animals. In this Valentine's Day edition of Viral Video Film School, Brett Erlich explains the art of the well-made wildlife porn.
Viral Video Film School is a recurring segment on the weekly television show infoMania. In each episode of VVFS, Professor Brett Erlich teaches you valuable skills in the discipline of Viral Video making. So sit down, take notes, and try not to piss him off.
infoMania is a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV. The show puts a comedic spin on the 24-hour chaos and information overload brought about by the constant bombardment of the media. Hosted by Conor Knighton and co-starring Brett Erlich, Sarah Haskins, Ben Hoffman, and Sergio Cilli, the show airs on Thursdays at 10 pm Eastern and Pacific Times and can be found online at current.com/infomania. And make sure to check out our facebook profile for special features at http://infomaniafacebook.com.The Internet is full of people having sex with other people. It is also full of... more
A giant tortoise that has been dubbed the world's oldest living creature may actually be an imposter, living under an assumed identity, it has emerged.
It had been reported that Jonathan, a present-day resident of St Helena, was living on the remote British island when Napoleon was exiled there back in 1815.
His claim to record longevity was based on a Boer War photograph of a Seychelles tortoise said to have been in the Atlantic island territory since Napoleon's time.
Both are called Jonathan and it was assumed that the tortoise now living on the governor's lawn was the one in the photograph.A giant tortoise that has been dubbed the world's oldest living creature may... more
A tortoise with two heads is taking full advantage of what was once thought to be a disability, to consume around twice as much food as its siblings.A tortoise with two heads is taking full advantage of what was once thought to be a... more
A ten-year-old tortoise with paralyzed hind legs has been fitted with wheels at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo—and her "love life" is picking up speed.A ten-year-old tortoise with paralyzed hind legs has been fitted with wheels at the... more
Arava, the disabled tortoise, is using her new set of wheels to get around in more ways than one.
Keepers at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo say the 10-year-old spurred tortoise has begun mating since being fitted with custom wheels to overcome paralysis of her hind legs.
The 55-pound tortoise is unable to move herself forward with her front legs alone so the zoo's staff built her a metal board with two wheels that can be strapped around her shell.
"We don't really know the reason why the tortoise is paralyzed," zoo curator Shmulik Yedvad says. "We tried to find out the cause, we didn't find it. So instead of just leaving it to move only with front legs we invented wheels, but are attached to real legs, to move almost freely in the enclosure."
Arava arrived in Jerusalem a few months ago from a petting zoo in southern Israel with the unexplained handicap, and found no reptile romance.
Yedvad says it's not that Arava has come out of her shell with her unique new wheelchair, but that a particularly amorous 10-year-old male has been after her.
But despite some improvement, Arava still finds it difficult to get use to the new device.
The handicapped tortoise is not able to turn back over by herself and the employees at the zoo have to do it.
Also some male turtles trying to mate with her have not been able to do so easily because of the device.
"The wheelchair is a little bit heavy, so I hope in the future it will have a lighter one. They will develop better equipment so it will be easier for the turtle," a zoo keeper said.
Arava, the disabled tortoise, is using her new set of wheels to get around in more... more
Thieves have stolen more than a dozen tortoises worth up to £4,000 from the back garden of a Hampshire house.
Pauline and David Bromly, who live in Orkney Road in Cosham, Portsmouth, noticed that their pets had been taken overnight on Sunday.
Mr and Mrs Bromly's daughter, Sarah, said her parents were "inconsolable". Ms Bromly said: "[They] have had all of their 14 tortoises stolen from their back garden - six adults and eight babies, who they bred themselves." She added: "They have had one of the males for 25 years. They are members of the Hampshire Tortoise Society and are inconsolable. [The tortoises] were my parents' pride and joy and they are deeply upset and also extremely concerned, particularly of their wellbeing because two of the adults need medical attention."
(BBC News)Thieves have stolen more than a dozen tortoises worth up to £4,000 from the back... more
These tortoises and turtles are critically endangered due to the illegal pet and food trade. They are also threatened by habitat loss.These tortoises and turtles are critically endangered due to the illegal pet and food... more
Duh, less space for your leftover pizza.
Shirley Neely, who runs the Jersey-based Tortoise Sanctuary, put the tortoises in there because of the mild winter. Apparently the fridge is just the right temp to keep them sleeping and happy (alive).
Bonus: They are already chilled for soup too :) Duh, less space for your leftover pizza. Shirley Neely, who runs the Jersey-based... more