by Jordan Gray

Ifaty, Madagascar – Update from Madagascar – April 24, 2018, Part 1 of 2.

Yesterday, Monday, April 23, 2018 was the first day on-site for the team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, husbandry specialists, pathologists, and communications specialists at SOPTOM-Villages des Tortues where the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) seized in a historic smuggling bust on 10 April 2018 are being temporarily held.

Dubbed “Team Radiata,” the group is comprised of 15 professional wildlife warriors from various non-profit organizations, private practices, and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions including Lisa Eidlin, Ken Conley, Anibal Armendaris, and Susie Bartlett of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Josh Lucas of Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden (OKCZ), Jorge Chavez of Dallas Zoo (DZ), Chris Sleater of Utah’s Hogle Zoo (UHZ), Stephen Nelson of Zoo Knoxville (ZN), Dr. Laurie Goldstein, Dr. Bonnie L Raphael, and Ihsann Sebro from private medical practice, Natacha Rasolozaka of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust(DWCT), and Clinton Doak, Jordan Gray , and Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa from Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA).

Nothing could prepare our team for the sight of forested enclosure after forested enclosure and on-site clinic filled with the thousands of Radiated Tortoises, ranging in size from 3-inch (8 cm) juveniles to hefty sub adults. All of the team members, many of them with significant experience with the species, both in the wild and in captivity, were in agreement that this was the most Radiated Tortoises they had ever seen—or will ever see—in their lifetime. End Part 1 of 2. To aid our team in the substantial rescue effort and the long-term rehabilitation and care for these critically endangered Radiated Tortoises DONATE TODAY! https://turtlesurvival.z2systems.com/…/turtle…/donation.jsp…

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

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 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.