On April 10, 2018, the largest global confiscation ever of freshwater turtles or tortoises took place in southern Madagascar. Almost 11,000 Critically Endangered Radiated Tortoises were found in a residential house in the city of Toliara. Neighbors reported an overwhelming stench which led to the seizure of tortoises and arrest of the ring leaders. The confiscated tortoises are being housed at SOPTOM’s Tortoise Village, a French-run tortoise facility in southern Madagascar. We are partnering with SOPTOM (Center for the Observation and Protection of Tortoises and their Habitat) on this monumental effort.
We need your support! The Turtle Conservancy, Global Wildlife Conservation and Andrew Sabin Family Foundation are currently matching all donations made through this campaign to help this unprecedented poaching confiscation. Many other international zoological institutions are also participating in this relief effort.
In response to the crisis, the Turtle Conservancy sent a delegation along with SOPTOM's team from France to assist in the triage and recovery of this confiscation. The team consists of veterinarians, contractors and documentarians. The group is traveling with much-needed medical and construction supplies.
Your donation will help purchase medicine and supplies to treat dehydrated and sick tortoises, and construction materials to build quarantine pens for the many refugee tortoises.
All told, thousands of tortoises of varying ages and sizes were uncovered, part of an illegal poaching ring. They were housed in deplorable conditions, covered in feces and without food, water or light. Several hundred were dead. It is believed these animals were destined for the illegal wildlife trade with ties to a Chinese national discovered in this case.