by Jordan Gray 

Ifaty, Madagascar – Triage efforts are underway by our TSA-Madagascar staff and partners in the region for the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) seized from a single residence in Toliara on April 10th. All are being temporarily housed at “Villages de Tortues” in Ifaty while they receive initial in-processing, health evaluations, hydration, and triage. These processes have been extremely labor intensive and time-consuming, but our collective ground forces are doing an incredible job managing the thousands of tortoises — a task of monumental proportions!

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A juvenile Radiated Tortoise rests in the shade in Ifaty.

In the United States, Madagascar, and elsewhere abroad, our TSA staff and partners including Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, Wildlife Conservation Society, San Diego Zoo, Zoo Knoxville, Shedd Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, Dr. Bonnie Raphael, and numerous private individuals have been mobilizing a team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, husbandry technicians, communications specialists, and support staff to descend on Madagascar this coming week.

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Left: A juvenile Radiated Tortoise rests in the shade in Ifaty. Right: A fraction of the 10,976 tortoises confiscated on April 10, 2018.

Support from the global conservation community has been incredible, and we are extremely thankful for the multitude of individuals and organizations that have begun pouring in donations and supplies. The fight to save these tortoises will not be easy and will not be quick. We expect to send multiple teams to Madagascar over the coming weeks and months to assist in the effort. And we will continue to need your support! We humbly ask that you make a donation to save the lives of these beautiful, charismatic, and critically endangered tortoises.

Please DONATE TODAY to save these tortoises, and assist with the largest tortoise rescue effort in our history!

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Left: A young Radiated Tortoise recieves an I.D. number from Dr. Natacha Rasolondrazaka of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  Right: A juvenile Radiated Tortoise awaits in-processing and examination.

 Additionally, if you are a zoological institution, private practice, husbandry technician, or additional support personnel interested in assisting, please contact Andrew Walde, Chief Operations Officer, directly at awalde@turtlesurvival.org.