Endangered Tortoises Are Being Defaced on Purpose… to Protect Them

by Sabrina Elfarra

Some of the rarest tortoises in the world are a hot commodity on the black market for their unique golden shells which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

In an effort to obstruct poachers, conservationists have made the bold move to carve into the shells of the tortoises, protecting the animals by making their domes less attractive.  The branded shells also make it easier for authorities to trace them if they are stolen.

“Endangered tortoises and turtles are facing a real threat, and we’re hoping that this will be an effective tool to keep them safe,” Eric Goode, the founder and president of the Turtle Conservancy told ABC News today.

Years of hunting have caused near extinction for many tortoise species, so sanctuaries and zoos are using identification marks, including laser inscribing, tattoos and engraving to hinder poachers and discourage collectors from paying a great deal of money for the animals.

Since the conservancy began putting the branded tortoises back into the wild in 2011, the shells have not come up in the black market, which officials believe is a good sign.

The Turtle Conservancy’s Behler Chelonian Center in Ventura County, Calif., has been working with ploughshare tortoises among others which originate from Madagascar. Their goal is to engrave the shells of both the ploughshares in captivity as well as those living in the wild…

(read more: ABCNews)

photos by The Turtle Conservancy

  1. kickdrumheart reblogged this from leahclaire
  2. redickyoulous reblogged this from 3eep
  3. 3eep reblogged this from dangan-doughnuts
  4. iamcourageandserenity reblogged this from psychedelicatessenn
  5. allvegansareghosts reblogged this from animalsandtrees
  6. nervati reblogged this from lizardbeans
  7. onerouslydazed reblogged this from lizardbeans
  8. lizardbeans reblogged this from antidarkheart
  9. that-awkward-guy reblogged this from im-britneys-bitch and added:
    Save da turtles.
  10. v4g1n4 reblogged this from vinylearth
  11. epouvante reblogged this from courteousaviarist
  12. polar-ized reblogged this from niki-garvin
  13. thanksforthepurplehearts reblogged this from psychedeliceclectic
  14. parisopolis reblogged this from mothmann
  15. declanpipkin reblogged this from empoweringanimals
  16. empoweringanimals reblogged this from brbgoingvegan
  17. psychedeliceclectic reblogged this from psychedelicatessenn
  18. mmmanchovies reblogged this from skogkattyn
  19. skogkattyn reblogged this from mothmann
  20. cassiedelfuego reblogged this from mothmann
  21. mothmann reblogged this from senjukannon
  22. mimsytheborogove reblogged this from jennnaismediocre
  23. carryonmywaywardgun reblogged this from radicalchuu
  24. donjuanronin reblogged this from radicalchuu
  25. radicalchuu reblogged this from sombernipples
  26. sombernipples reblogged this from gellijelli
  27. gellijelli reblogged this from justkes
  28. gothicmewmew16 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  29. kmachete reblogged this from conttrolledchaos
  30. modified-momma reblogged this from barefoot-hooping-momma