by Christine Bowie
The Turtle Survival Alliance was recently called on to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of 771 critically endangered tortoises, confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Madagascar. The seizure, which consisted of Radiated (Astrochelys radiata) and Ploughshare (A. yniphora) Tortoises took place on September 28 when customs officials at the Ivato Airport noticed two suspicious packages. The tortoises, hidden in two packages of socks and children’s diapers, were in route to Malaysia – destined for the black market.
In a separate event, earlier this month TSA received another call that officials had confiscated 305 Radiated Tortoises in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The combined group of confiscated tortoises totals more than 1,000 animals.
TSA Program Leader, Herilala Randriamahazo reports that the Radiated Tortoises have all been transported to a TSA Tortoise Conservation Center in the region where they are receiving care and treatment as part of the TSA’s comprehensive Confiscation to Reintroduction Program. This is a huge undertaking for their small staff, as they struggle to find veterinary students and keepers to provide daily care for the large number of animals at the Center.
Donations are being accepted at this time to offset the cost of their rehabilitation and eventual reintroduction. Your support is appreciated.