Turtle Survival Alliance CEO & President Visits Garden State Tortoise
Our CEO & President Marc “Double D” Dupuis-Desormeaux had the pleasure of visiting Garden State Tortoise this month! The turtles are wrapping up their time outside, and Marc gave a helping hand bringing them indoors for the winter.
Last year Memphis Zoo came to Turtle Survival Alliance in the hopes of finding a place to care for a confiscation of illegally imported Mexican Box Turtles (Terrapene mexicana). These turtles were originally identified and confiscated in early 2021 from a shipping hub in Memphis, TN, where they were enroute from Mexico to Taiwan, part of the illegal wildlife trade.
One of our main initiatives at Turtle Survival Alliance is rescuing illegally trafficked animals and working to reintroduce them back into their native habitats. Unfortunately, not all turtles once removed from the wild are able to return home. Because of this, we work with zoos, aquariums, and private owners around the country to help support the care of turtles that were unjustly taken from their natural homes.
Quarantining, testing for disease, performing genetic testing, and caring for these turtles takes an immense amount of time and resources, and we value these partnerships that help support these efforts.
We are so thankful to our friends and Turtle Survival Alliance members, like Chris and Casey Leone with Garden State Tortoise, for their commitment to conserving these species.
We also had a chance to check in on some Pancake Tortoises (Malacochersus tornieri) that reside at Garden State Tortoise.
In 2020, Turtle Survival Alliance reached out to Garden State Tortoise to house a group of pancake tortoises that were imported to the United States. They had been screened for pathogens, weighed and microchipped, and needed a place to reside beyond the TSC, where 750 chelonians already resided. Garden State Tortoise was able to collect the turtles on a breeding loan and create habitats for them at their sanctuary.
Marc has worked with Pancake Tortoises in Kenya at the Lewa Conservancy, and was pleased to see a “short stack” of a few Pancakes on his visit.
“We came into existence 20 years ago, and we came out of a confiscation of Asian turtles…we’ve been working with zoos and private individuals ever since to kind of share the load,” Marc explains in the video. Private institutions like Garden State Tortoise are valuable partners when it comes to situations like these.