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Desert tortoise faces threat from its own refuge

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  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    What a sad fate for animals that have lived for years in captivity and helped advance human knowledge about the world around us. It's a shame that when some other form of life is no longer useful to people, or it becomes inconvenient to keep it around or find an alternate home for it, it just gets discarded.

    And it isn't true that the Federal government can't afford to finance this research center anymore, or at least pay for some humane way to resettle these desert tortoises. A small portion of the money we've poured into Pakistan and Egypt would make a good start.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    If the animals are sick and can pass the sickness on to healthy animals, then perhaps they should be euthanized, but if they are only judged to weak to survive in the wild, then maybe they should be released and allowed to at least try to survive

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Why can't they be sent to zoos or even pet stores if they are healthy?

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    @RedShirtMIT - Most zoos already have tortoises and while some could accommodate more, most zoos are struggling right now too, since many of them are also publicly funded. As for sending them to pet stores, tortoises can live to be well over 100 years old. Most people aren't will to put in that kind of commitment to a pet (especially one that they can't really do much with...)

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 27, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    To "Shawnm750" the other option is to release them back into the wild. As the article points out, the tortoises that are brought to the facility are wild and already know how to survive. How expensive would it be to FedEx a box of the critters off to a national park somewhere and allow them to continue on their lives?