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. artissubtraction reblogged this from eoinvondy
  2. sleepwalkingongolddust reblogged this from eevveeyy
  3. cicadianrhythm reblogged this from latining
  4. be9k reblogged this from latining
  5. a-beautiful-loser reblogged this from matte-attacke
  6. moustacheglasses4thewin reblogged this from latining
  7. latining reblogged this from sleepylazybear
  8. sleepylazybear reblogged this from nightly-fool
  9. jose-estevan-valenzuela reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  10. thehippiewife reblogged this from themoonphase
  11. dennislovesanimalsandnature reblogged this from uv-vu
  12. uv-vu reblogged this from thehauntedfishtank
  13. thehauntedfishtank reblogged this from the-anti-anthropologist
  14. necromatador reblogged this from loracarol
  15. dsalvatorecosta reblogged this from majestic-jc
  16. moedough reblogged this from majestic-jc
  17. thatonekidstumblr reblogged this from majestic-jc
  18. majestic-jc reblogged this from generalbriefing
  19. ttheairwebreatthe reblogged this from treehugger-animallover
  20. sillyxlily reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  21. the-anti-anthropologist reblogged this from climateadaptation
  22. city-of-galaxies reblogged this from scarletsaint
  23. graveyardstrutr reblogged this from anumbra
  24. cat--beard reblogged this from supercrooks
  25. supercrooks reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  26. zephra85 reblogged this from newvagabond
  27. rainbowderpturtle reblogged this from hisbondgirl
  28. professor-snuggly-von-scooper reblogged this from newvagabond
  29. parti-hardi-arti reblogged this from newvagabond
  30. armyofchaos reblogged this from clarityofhatred
  31. drink-more-milo reblogged this from flameborn
  32. clarityofhatred reblogged this from carinthegarage6
  33. flameborn reblogged this from techpriest-oni