This past weekend, TSA-Madagascar staff assisted in the seizure of 811 juvenile Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) from poachers in southern Madagascar. The TSA Madagasikara team quickly transported the tortoises—weak and dehydrated due to months of being held without food or water, exacerbated by severe drought and scorching temperatures—to our Tortoise Conservation Center (TCC) near Tsihombe. Once at the TCC, our TSA veterinary and husbandry staff immediately began triage and providing acute medical care. This is the latest in a string of seizures made over the past several months, and was initiated by TSA-Madagascar’s Law Enforcement Officer Sylvain Mahazotahy.
The TCC is home already to over 9,000 Critically Endangered Radiated Tortoises previously confiscated from illegal trade. The thousands of tortoises maintained at the TCC have all previously received medical care, rehabilitation, and have been cleared for incorporation into its “refugee” population. To properly care for and quarantine this new group of rescued tortoises we will need to build new enclosures. Additionally, the wild origin of these tortoises is believed to be known, so it’s imperative that they be kept separate from the existing population as part of our long-term and comprehensive Confiscation to Reintroduction Strategy. To do this we need your help.
Please consider making a donation today toward our goal of $10,000. These projected expenses will provide food, water, continued medical care, and new natural enclosures built into their native spiny forest habitat. The level of care we provide not only allows the tortoises to acclimate, but thrive until we can one day return them to their wild home.
We would like to thank the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, National Gendarmes, and United States Agency for International Development for their continued support and collaboration in the fight against tortoise trafficking.