Tortoise Tragedy

Nile crocodiles, terrapins, tortoises and turtles.

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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby gaboon69 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:35 pm

Now thats a happy ending ! Good on you man.
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Rob » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:33 pm

Well thats not a common conclusion to this kind of story. Well done Spoon, you made a real difference, you should feel really good.
Some pics of the guy would be great, Id like to see what they did to the shell. That sounds horrific.
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Bushviper » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:50 am

Plenty karma points for you there. Pat yourself on the back. To hell with what the law says in this case what happened was the right thing!
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Bushbaby » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:06 am

Great stuff Spoon. Very glad to hear that. You made a difference to that tortoise, and that's what counts!!
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby fredsmith » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:11 pm

Awesome end to what looked to be a definite horrific demise of an amazing creature.
Well done.
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby wendyb » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:20 pm

I was busy researching information on tortoise muti when I came across the 'Tortoise Tragedy''story.
I am the tortoise keeper at FreeMe, and had the privilage of looking after the little Bell's hinged with the sawn off gular shield. After spending a cosy winter in our specially designed holding pen, he has been re-homed with an expert in very suitable circumstances.
I am pleased to say his wound healed beautifully and he put on some weight in the time he spent at FreeMe.
I am saddened that there is even a hint that we put misplaced tortoises to sleep! I personally spend many hours applying for export and import permits to get misplaced tortoises back to where they came from. We regularly fly Angulate tortoises back to Cape Town, relying on a wonderful network of volunteers to assist them to Cape Town and release them in Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Sick and injured tortoises are seen by Dr Marc Verseput, and he would make any decisions on weather to euthinaise or not. FreeMe is on standby to collect the recovering tortoises from Dr Verseput and take care of them until they are healthy enough to release back into the wild. This can sometime take years!
We work together with SPCA'S, vets, nature conservation officials and a network of experts countrywide, sometimes consulting with internationally recognised experts.
Each tortoise in our care has a distinct little personality and we become very attached to them after months of feeding them their favorite foods, and providing them with comfortable quarters! Once again, I am saddened that anyone would ever suggest we euthinaise our misplaced tortoises.
Please do not hesitate to contact the tortoise keeper at FreeMe for any information, and please clear up any misunderstandings before putting up a post which is so damaging to us and to the tortoises we save.
Kindest regards,WB
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Spoon » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:07 am

wendyb wrote:he has been re-homed with an expert in very suitable circumstances.

Awesome! Where abouts is he staying now? Originally I was told he would be relocated to somewhere near kruger park? But after some more digging it seems he is in durban?

wendyb wrote:I am pleased to say his wound healed beautifully and he put on some weight in the time he spent at FreeMe.

Thats excellent news!

wendyb wrote:I am saddened that there is even a hint that we put misplaced tortoises to sleep! Please do not hesitate to contact the tortoise keeper at FreeMe for any information, and please clear up any misunderstandings before putting up a post which is so damaging to us and to the tortoises we save.
Kindest regards,WB

Sorry I was just going on what was told to me by one of the ladies I spoke to at Freeme after I had handed him over. She stated that unless they knew the exact location of where it came from they couldn't release it because it could damage the local gene pool and would therefore have to be put down. Understandably I was very upset at this as it was touch and go as to whether or not I could actually get hold of him in the first place. The muti markets can be an extremely dangerous place to go to and after all the effort that myself and the vet I took him to went through it would have been very sad to have him put down for no reason. I'm ecstatic to know that this isn't FreeMe policy though and would be more than happy to suggest that perhaps the administrators delete the posts that imply that FreeMe would euthanise tortoises they are unable to relocate so as to avoid any future misunderstandings.

Thank you very much for the update though its much appreciated! I've been trying to get an update for a while now would it be possible for you to organise photos that you could post on here of him? :)


Thank you very much for all the good work you have done for him! I shall definitely hand any more tortoises I manage to retrieve from the muti markets to you guys :D
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby wendyb » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:52 pm

At the begining of this year, I personally made the follow up phone call to the person who admitted the muti market tortoise, I must have spoken to the incorrect person???

Once again, thank you so much to the person for giving this little tortoise a second chance. We rely heavily on the public to be our eyes and ears!

Regarding releasing tortoises back into the wild: there are 15 species of tortoises occuring in Southern Africa. Each comes from a different part of the country with widely differing habitats and food requirements. We are able to release Leopard tortoises and Spekes hinged tortoises back into Gauteng as they occur here naturally and no gene pool would be threatened. With a valid export permit from Gauteng and import permit from Western Cape we can release Angulates back into Kirstenbosch Gardens, where there is a barrier to the rest of the Angulate populations. All of the other species remain in our care, but often the less hardy ones die within 6 months to a year.They are not put to sleep!!!
Luckily our little Bells hinged is one of the more robust species, as well as his missing gular shield procludes him from being released back into the wild. He has no protection in the neck area, could be easily eaten by a preditor and could not defend himself against other males.
This is one of the many reasons we do not encourage people to keep tortoises as pets. People pick up tortoises on holiday and bring them back to the cities to become a pet! This is a disaster for the breeding group which could collapse completly. If the family dog does not kill the tortoise immediatly, it will die in a few months from the incorrect diet, incorrect temprature, nesting requirements... the list is endless.
I have an article with facts and figures on this subject coming out in our April 2010 newsletter.

Kindest regards,
WB
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Rob » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:20 am

Wendy, I handed over 3 Angulates a few years ago to KZN Wildlife, they told me they would be flown down to the Cape for release. (exact point of capture unknown)
Is that likely to be what happened, if so where would the be released? Or would they probably have ended up being euthanased?
Rob Deans

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ~Dale Carnegie
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Bushviper » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:41 pm

Rob, Wendy is from Johannesburg and would not have been involved in KZN's projects.

Rob, I am 99% sure the Angulates never made it to the Cape or freedom. I have been told that the Cape do not release Angulate or Leopard tortoises. This was told to me by Ernst Baard at a symposium a number of years ago.
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Rob » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:46 pm

I figured :smt021
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby wendyb » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:58 pm

Rob wrote:Wendy, I handed over 3 Angulates a few years ago to KZN Wildlife, they told me they would be flown down to the Cape for release. (exact point of capture unknown)
Is that likely to be what happened, if so where would the be released? Or would they probably have ended up being euthanased?


KZN tortoises are managed by a group of amazing caring people who work closely with the KZN authoraties. I know for certain the Angulates would have been released in Kirstenbosch Gardens. The KZN tortoise rescuers would be devastated at a suggestion their tortoises were euthanaised. All of their work is voluntary and they go to amazing lengths to save every tortoise in their care.
The negative attitude around tortoise rescue boggles my mind! If only the public knew of the time, effort, love and selfless dedication which goes into tortoise rescue!
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Boervrou » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:50 pm

I have just deleted Freeme"s number off my phone!!!
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Re: Tortoise Tragedy

Postby Iggy » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:14 pm

Boervrou, think you should read the more recent posts before you delete the number ;)
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