One of the world’s most critically endangered creatures faces an horrific crisis that could wipe them from the face of the earth. Radiated tortoises, who are native to the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, will be extinct in less than 20 years – unless we act immediately!
In a daring rescue operation by our partners, Turtle Survival Alliance Madagascar (TSA Madagascar), over 800 of these beautiful creatures were recently rescued from smugglers. The team discovered the poor animals in a shocking condition. Ready to be shipped, these rare tortoises were destined for the international illegal pet trade, but many would have died before they even reached their destination.
The tortoises were crammed into vehicles and hidden under dirty covers, with no food or water, and covered in their own urine and feces. Some of the poor creatures had been brutally manhandled by their captors and were suffering terrible injuries including open wounds and broken shells.
Many people don’t know that a tortoise’s shell is a living part of their body and is sensitive to pain. When the shell is broken, it is not only excruciating but the creature’s spine and organs can easily be damaged. Even a small crack can lead to a deadly infection.
Radiated tortoises can survive without water for more than a month, but these were dying of thirst. That means they must have been kept for a very long time without food or water.
Many were too weak to even lift their heads to drink!
To keep them alive, the team had to hydrate the tortoises by INJECTING WATER UNDER THEIR SKIN, where it is naturally stored.
These creatures are in terrible trouble. Some of the poor animals are suffering from agonizing eye and mouth infections and need antibiotics and vitamin supplements, plus intensive treatment for the debilitating pain.
The good news is that if we can care for them properly, they will survive and be released back into the wild. But they will need our help for many months – to provide lifesaving food, water, medicine and a safe space to recover.
Each one of these tortoises is vital to their species. We must act now to save them!
We at the Animal Survival International (formerly Political Animal Lobby) exist to help prevent species from going extinct. It is rare that we have such a clear-cut opportunity to make a difference to the survival of a species, but in this case, we can. Saving these 800 radiated tortoises will give the entire species new hope – if we can keep them alive until they are ready to breed.
Half of the rescued tortoises are female and when they reach breeding age, each one will produce an average of eight babies every year for the next 80 to 90 years. That makes their survival as a species a little more achievable. Your donation today will mean the world to generations of tortoises for decades to come. Please help by making a generous donation right now.
In the wild, radiated tortoises eat specific types of grasses and leaves that are high in protein and nutrients. When they are in recovery, they must be fed a combination of fruits and vegetables like sweet potato, loose-leaf greens, berries and prickly pears to give them the nutrition they need. But feeding 800 tortoises is terribly costly in Madagascar, where a drought has made fresh foods scarce and expensive. Please, if you possibly can, donate today so that these tortoises can be saved.
Unless we act now, radiated tortoises will be extinct in less than 20 years!
Because of rampant poaching, the number of radiated tortoises has dropped by 80% in just 30 years. These 800 tortoises are desperately important to the future of their species. We must help them!Radiated tortoises are beautiful, fascinating animals. The biggest threat to their survival is the illegal pet trade. Their beautiful star-patterned shells and the ‘rain dance’ they perform when sprayed with water, make them very popular as pets, but they do not survive for long in captivity.
You can imagine how difficult it is for a small team to care for 800 tortoises with extensive injuries and medical needs, but that is not the full story
Every day, other sick and injured tortoises are also brought to the center for care. In addition to food and medicines, TSA Madagascar’s conservation center needs an enclosure to house these tortoises while they are recovering.
The price tag for food, supplies and the enclosure – all URGENT – is $10,000 (£7,250).
We have our work cut out for us, but, we are fortunate to have you on our side. As an animal lover, we are relying on your support. Please donate generously right now to help save yet another species from extinction.