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Blog | Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
  Updated Fri, 22 Jun 2018 00:58:32 +0000
Description The Turtle Survival Alliance is a global partnership of individuals, zoos, aquariums, biologists and researchers who have joined together to help conserve threatened and endangered tortoise and turtle species.
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Southern Vietnam Box Turtle Hatches at the TSC!
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:14:17 +0000
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By Cris Hagen, Nathan Haislip, Clint Doak, Carol Alvarez, John Greene, and Jordan Gray

Cuora picturata FINAL

The year's first hatchling Southern Vietnam Box Turtle breaks through its eggshell in the TSC's incubator. Photo credit: Cris Hagen

On June 8, 2018 the first hatchling Southern Vietnam Box Turtle (Cuora picturata) of the year pipped its egg at our Turtle Survival Center. Deposited on February 26th, the egg incubated for 102 days at 25.5°C (78°F) before greeting our keepers with its beautifully mottled yellow, orange, and black head.

2018 has been a breakout year for Southern Vietnam Box Turtle reproduction at the TSC. Despite their relatively recent acquisition, with all of the adult specimens having arrived at the TSC in 2014, 2015, and 2017 respectively, the females have acclimated well to their new environment. This acclimation is actively demonstrated by this year's extraordinary egg production. Thus far, twenty eggs have been produced from all eight females in the collection. Eighteen of these eggs have been collected for incubation, while one clutch of two are still being carried by the parental female.

Not only has overall egg production for the assurance group of Southern Vietnam Box Turtles been high in 2018, but individual production has been equally as high. Each female in the collection, aside from one, has laid two clutches thus far, with the mother of this year's first hatchling having just produced her third. With a roughly 50% fertility rate, half of the eighteen eggs deposited are showing development. Of poignant note, this year's production is greater than that of the total production by all United States zoos participating in the studbook for the species. Furthermore, the TSC is the only non-zoological facility (U.S.) participating in the studbook that has produced the species, aside from private individuals.

With a laser-focus on our commitment to this species, we hope to hatch many more of this rare and beautiful species over the coming years. These hatchlings will help build the foundation for healthy, first-generation assurance colonies.

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Red-crowned Roofed Turtles Get a Head Start in India
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:56:19 +0000
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By Rishika Dubla, Shailendra Singh, Chandan Jani, Pawan Parekh and Jordan Gray

The Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) is a Critically Endangered freshwater turtle species known historically from large riverine environments of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Evolutionarily adapted for high adult-survivorship, detrimental anthropogenic (human) activities such as illegal fishing, sand mining, poaching, egg harvesting, riverside agriculture, and large scale infrastructure projects have resulted in dramatic declines of the wild population. Recent estimates based on nest counts suggest less than 500 nesting females survive in the last remaining stronghold for the species, the Chambal River of India.

Batagur hatchlings 1

Two hatching Red-crowned Roofed Turtles await processing by the field staff. Photo credit: Chandan Jani

To combat these declines, the TSA/Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) India Turtle Conservation Program has been committed to conserving this species in the Chambal River for the past 12 years. Since 2006, the program has led a comprehensive, multi-pronged conservation initiative along the Chambal's sandy banks. This conservation strategy includes habitat protection, vulnerable nest relocation and protection, hatchling release, telemetry, public awareness and school education programs, and a head start program.

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Hatchling Red-crowned Roofed Turtles simultaneously exit their nest for the waters of the Chambal. Photo credit: Chandan Jani

Each year beginning in February, the nest protection and relocation facet of the conservation strategy for the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle and Three-striped Roofed Turtle (Batagur dhongoka) is a full-time operation. During the two-month nesting season, highly trained field assistants locate and translocate nests deemed vulnerable to anthropogenic and hydrologic threats. Each clutch of eggs is carefully transferred to makeshift riverside hatcheries where artificially excavated nests are enclosed by circular bamboo fences within a protective wire enclosure. Field assistants lay guard to these hatcheries during the entire nesting, incubation, and hatching period to protect them from opportunistic jackals, feral dogs, and poachers. Providing protection in coordinated shifts, the field assistants ensure that at no point are the hatcheries unsupervised.

Two Kachuga Hatchlings

Two hatchling Red-crowned Roofed Turtles sit patiently in their protective hatchery. Photo credit: Chandan Jani

Once hatching begins at the beginning of May, the hatchlings are collected, measured, catalogued, and released at the site from which they were translocated. This post-hatching operation occurs under the supervision of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Forest Department officials. Under the mandate of the project, select individuals are randomly chosen to be head started out of the season's total hatching success. The head start program is a bet-hedging strategy implemented in an attempt to halt further decline by increasing the total number of surviving juveniles. The goal of head starting is to rear the hatchlings in captivity until they are of a larger size-class. This effectively circumvents early-life-stage predation that they would be subject to in the wild.

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Field research technician Pawan Parekh holds hatchlings at the Garhaita Turtle Conservation Centre. Photo credit: Shailendra Singh

With most of this year's nests having now hatched, the TSA-India team has selected and translocated a cohort of 100 hatchlings to specially built turtle-rearing ponds at the Garhaita Turtle Conservation Centre, near Etawah along the lower Chambal. There, a team of trained staff members rear the cohort under a regimented protocol and standardized diet to ensure that all husbandry and nutritional needs are met. These 100 hatchlings will be cared for under the team's supervision for 6 months before being released at the site of their nest's original location. Concurrently, these head started animals will help us to investigate the ecology of hatchlings in the river system. It is TSA-India's hopes that these profound efforts will significantly boost the Chambal River's wild population of Red-crowned Roofed Turtles through elevated survivability.

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Red-crowned Roofed Turtle hatchlings starting to display distinctive head markings. Photo credit: Shailendra Singh

Over its 12-year duration, this project has relocated, hatched, and released over 100,000 Red-crowned and Three-striped Roofed Turtles—yet the work is still far from complete. Activities such as clandestine sand collection and the erratic release of water from upstream dams not only threaten vital nesting habitat, but also affect the operating efficiency of any conservation undertakings in the area. Therefore, this joint conservation effort along the Chambal River must not only play a crucial role in proliferating the wild population of turtles, but also in spreading public conservation awareness. It is with great hopes that this public awareness will both promote a greater understanding of the Chambal's ecosystem and its inhabitants and encourage community support for their conservation in the future.

Batagur kachuga 3

A hatchling Red-crowned Roofed Turtle sits on a sandbar beside the Chambal River—their last stronghold. Photo credit: Chandan Jani

We thank the TSA, the Wildlife Conservation Society - India including Mrs. Prakirti Srivastava, the Centre for Wildlife Studies, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, Wildlife Trust of India, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department including Officers Mr. SK Upadhyay, Mr. Pawan Kumar, Mr. Anand Kumar, Mr. SN Shukla, Mr. Girjesh Tewri, Mr. Amit Singh, and the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department including Officers Mr. Shahbaz Ahmad, Mr. Alok Kumar, Mr. HS Mohanta, and AA Ansari for their support of the Chambal Endangered Turtle Conservation Project.

 

 

 

 

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Fantastic Four!
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:48:26 +0000
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It's been nearly two months since the more than 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) were seized from wildlife traffickers, and our response teams are still hard at work in Madagascar! Currently, "Team Radiata 4" continues this profound relief effort by providing daily medical and animal care for the thousands of tortoises still at the SOPTOM-CRCC "Village des Tortues" in Ifaty. Although the medical team continues to see fewer new medical cases and a significant decrease in mortality, we are not "out of the woods" yet—with many animals still needing that extra "push" to survive.

Wave 4 Group

From right to left: Avimasy (TSA), Dr. Ed Ramsay (Zoo Knoxville), Sue Faso, Andrew Ahl (Indianapolis Zoo), Rachael Parchem (Shedd Aquarium), Vonintsoa (TSA), Dr. Charles Innis (New England Aquarium),Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa (TSA)

In addition to their daily medical and animal care routines, the veterinarians and husbandry specialists continue to assess the health of the animals for transfer to the TSA's conservation facility near Itampolo. This past week, the team identified, assessed, and successfully transferred over 1,300 tortoises to the facility, which lies 85 miles (137 km) south of Ifaty. The addition of these tortoises now means that 80% of the seized tortoises have been transferred from the SOPTOM "Village des Tortues" to our TSA-Itampolo facility.

Tortoise Soak

Young Radiated Tortoises recieve a hydrating soak in their temporary enclosure.

To increase our ability to receive and maintain the thousands of tortoises in Itampolo, the Malagasy construction team, currently aided by Mark Lewandowski of the Wildlife Conservation Society, continues to expand the facility's infrastructure. This expansion currently includes the building of additional large, natural, forested enclosures, an on-site clinic, food preparation area, and water storage tanks. Likewise, keepers from our Tortoise Conservation Center (TCC) provide daily animal care for the many thousands of tortoises already transferred to the facility from Ifaty. Providing exemplary husbandry for this many tortoises is no small task, but our TSA-Madagascar staff are rising to the challenge.

Charlie Innis

Dr. Charles Innis (New England Aquarium) inspects a juvenile Radiated Tortoise.

With a goal of eventually releasing the tortoises into protected sanctuaries within their native range, the TSA and our partners are in this for the long haul. Between now and then, the nearly 10,000 animals will still be reliant on us for daily animal care and life support. With daily care including "life checks," health assessments, hydration assistance, and feeding, the long-term effort to rehabilitate these animals will be colossal. To succeed in this endeavor, we will need to continue scheduling and sending animal care specialists to Madagascar. Special consideration will be given to those who can help provide leadership and training for new staff in Itampolo. If you or your institution would like to offer this support, please contact Andrew Walde at awalde@turtlesurvival.org.

Ed Ramsay and Rachel Parchem

Dr. Ed Ramsay (Zoo Knoxville) and Rachael Parchem (Shedd Aquarium) provide medical treatment for a juvenile tortoise.

The projected cost for this multi-year relief and rehabilitation operation is immense. If you would like to directly aid in the return of these critically endangered tortoises to their native habitat, please consider DONATING HERE

Sue Faso

Sue Faso inspects a juvenile tortoise for transfer to our TSA-Itampolo facility.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Indianapolis Zoo, New England Aquarium, Zoo Knoxville, Wildlife Conservation Society, Shedd Aquarium, and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for sending this team of wildlife warriors to join us in Madagascar!

 

 

 

 

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A Labor of Love!
Category Blog
Published: Tue, 29 May 2018 18:18:51 +0000
Description:

We've all heard the phrase "It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it." For our "Team Radiata 3" wave in Madagascar, this phrase is more of a calling—fueled by passion and love. Under the hot Malagasy sun, this amazing group of responders has been continuing the relief effort for the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises seized from wildlife traffickers 7 weeks ago. For them, the long days of providing animal and veterinary care, as well as construction leadership and man-power is less of a job, and more a sense of duty. Stemming from various backgrounds, these wildlife warriors work with a singular mission: saving the lives of critically endangered tortoises.

Team 3 111

Drs. Sean Perry (LSU) and Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa (TSA) and assistant Cassandra Reid (Dallas Zoo) provide treatment for a tortoise.

Every day, this group of volunteers, representing the Turtle Survival Alliance, Utah's Hogle Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Denver Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo, ACCB Cambodia, Cincinnati Zoo, Louisiana State University, and the Association of Zoological Veterinary Technicians, begins work knowing that their daily routines and overall efforts are necessary to save the lives of these tortoises. Although many of the tortoises are faring relatively well, respectively speaking, many are still in need of expert medical care and rehabilitation. Others, effectively rely on the daily routine of these volunteers to receive that extra "push" to make it through this ordeal. And, despite all of our greatest efforts, tortoises continue die—victims of the grotesque acts known as poaching and wildlife trafficking. Without volunteers like those from "Team Radiata 3," a long-life and continued existence in Madagascar would simply not be possible for these iconic tortoises.

Team 3 55

Dr. Sean Perry (LSU) and Cassandra Reid (Dallas Zoo) provide medical treatment for a young Radiated Tortoise.

Although "Team Radiata 3" will soon be returning to the United States and their other homes abroad, the relief effort for these tortoises is far from over. As our "Team Radiata 4" wave currently descends upon southwestern Madagascar, continuing this labor of love, the TSA and our partners must continue to schedule new waves of wildlife warriors to replace them. We are in this for the long-haul. To find out how you, your representative institution, or private practice can volunteer professional services in the coming weeks, please contact Andrew Walde directly at awalde@turtlesurvival.org.

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Paul Reinhart (Cincinnati Zoo) and Christel Griffioen (ACCB Cambodia) transfer tortoises to their new enclosure.

You can also support these passionate medical, animal care, and construction specialists, provide supplies, and help SAVE tortoises by DONATING TODAY! Your donation will DIRECTLY SAVE THE LIVES of Radiated Tortoises—guiding them back to a long life in Madagascar!

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Radiated Tortoises in the "Hospital Pens" await treatment by our veterinary team.

 

 

 

 

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Farewell and Thank You Bonnie!
Category Blog
Published: Fri, 25 May 2018 17:44:38 +0000
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Bonnie 1

"This past week, we said goodbye to Dr. Bonnie Raphael, the heart and soul of this operation for the past month, but not before celebrating her birthday with a fine celebration. Big jobs call for big personalities and Bonnie rose to the occasion as she always does. She is, as I am fond of saying, a true force of nature. Thanks for giving it your all Bonnie Raphael, the TSA loves you and I can't imagine tacking a crisis of this magnitude without you. Unless the world changes, it looks like you won't get much rest in retirement! You will always have a home with the TSA.

Bonnie and Sean Perry

Dr. Bonnie Raphael discusses treatment of a juvenile Radiated Tortoise with Dr. Sean Perry (LSU).

Upon leaving Madagascar, Bonnie passed the veterinary torch to Dr. Sean Perry (LSU), who has rapidly gotten up to speed with an amazingly organized team representing Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, LSU, Denver Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Dallas Zoo, Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, and the Association of Zoological Veterinary Technicians. We also bid farewell to Dr. Pete Koplos whose assistance was invaluable; thanks to the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group for sponsoring his trip. And, as usual, you don't realize how much work someone does till they are gone. TSA/Utah's Hogle Zoo Tortoise Conservation Center keeper extraordinaire Tsito Rehoahy had all tortoises fed and watered by the time our crew arrived in the morning. He too left this past week to accompany the 1,961 tortoises being transferred to our TSA facility near Itampolo.

Bonnie BDay2

Dr. Bonnie Raphael celebrates her birthday in Madagascar with Team Radiata 2 and 3!

In the coming weeks, we will still need amazing wildlife warriors to travel to Madagascar to provide veterinary and animal care for the thousands of tortoises; our mission is far from over. Although many of the tortoises are doing quite well, relatively speaking, we continue to see new animals that need veterinary treatment on a daily basis, as well as numerous animals who desperately need that extra "push" to make it through this ordeal. Sadly, animals also continue to die each day, despite our greatest efforts. We must not, and cannot take our "foot off the gas" during this critical time."

- Rick Hudson (President - TSA)

Bonnie Beers

Drs. Bonnie Raphael, Pete Koplos (TTPG), Matt O'Connor (Shedd Aquarium), and Matt Marinkovich (San Diego Zoo) share a beer after a long day providing treatment to hundreds of Radiated Tortoises.

To find out how you, your representative institution, or private practice can volunteer professional services in the coming weeks, please contact Andrew Walde directly at awalde@turtlesurvival.org. Furthermore, the TSA and our partners are in this for the long-haul. You can aid us in this lengthily and costly mission by DONATING TODAY. Your donation will DIRECTLY SAVE THE LIVES of Radiated Tortoises and help guide them back to long life in Madagascar!

You can support these passionate medical specialists, provide medical supplies, and help save tortoises by DONATING TODAY!

Tsito Rehoahy

Tsito Rehoahy examines a juvenile Radiated Tortoise during his morning routine of feeding and watering the tortoises.

 

 

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World Turtle Day 2018
Category Blog
Published: Fri, 25 May 2018 01:04:31 +0000
Description:


young radiata 2

 

Dear Friends of Turtles,

Today we celebrate the beauty and diversity of turtles and tortoises, and share our passion and commitment to protecting them. Although May 23rd marks a singular, yet important day for spreading global awareness of chelonian conservation, every day is "World Turtle Day" for us at the Turtle Survival Alliance. The TSA works relentlessly 365 days per year to preserve over 100 chelonian species, including 20 of the Top 25 Most Endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles and their habitats. The persistent commitment to our vision of "zero turtle extinctions in the 21st Century" is nowhere more evident right now than in the country of Madagascar.

This year, on World Turtle Day®, I am in Madagascar as I write this, witnessing first-hand the amazing men and women who have united for one cause, and it is hard to think about anything else. That being said, I hope you will join me in celebrating our "Team Radiata" responders and the amazing work they have performed over the past six weeks to save the lives of thousands of Radiated Tortoises.

When news first broke from our TSA-Madagascar staff of the confiscation of over 10,000 Radiated Tortoises destined for transport to the Asian pet trade, we were heartbroken. Confiscations of this scale and magnitude are rare, and in the 17-year history of the TSA, this is the largest and certainly the most challenging we have been called in to support. Dealing with a seizure of such proportions is a daunting task, but the TSA did not blink, and immediately swung into action. Team #1 of our coordinated relief effort was on the ground in a week, saving lives, and relieving the small cadre of exhausted Malagasy veterinarians and staff that were the first responders. We are indebted to them, as well as SOPTOM's Village des Tortues in Ifaty for allowing us to convert their facility to a tortoise triage and refugee center.

To date, the TSA, with support from numerous partners, has deployed 4 teams to Madagascar, each averaging 12 people, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal care specialists, and construction workers—to help save these unfortunate tortoises. This World Turtle Day®, we are excited to announce that overall the tortoises are doing great, and are well on their way to recovery. Since "Team Radiata" #1 arrived, we have had relatively few deaths—a testament to the skill, dedication, and hard work of the more than 50 individuals who have volunteered to join this remarkable relief effort. I don't believe there is another organization in the world capable of mounting such a coordinated and effective response, but of course we did not go it alone.

Times like these demonstrate what the Turtle Survival Alliance is all about. In an unparalleled response effort, more than 60 zoos, aquariums, conservation organizations, and private donors GLOBALLY joined forces with us, backing the effort with supplies, funding, and personnel. This is the best example I have ever seen of the global turtle conservation community coming together under one banner, with one singular goal: saving tortoises.

Yet, our job is far from complete. Optimistically, we will be caring for these tortoises for at least two years, allowing time to recover their strength and weight, before they can be released into the wild. The TSA is in for the long haul, and is committed to seeing this disaster through to a successful outcome. But we need your continued support. While we have done much good, we can't "take our foot off the gas." Adding 10,000 tortoises to our program in Madagascar will require extra keepers, security staff, veterinary support, and FOOD that this huge number of tortoises will consume. So, on the occasion of World Turtle Day® 2018, lets double down on our commitment to these tortoises so that next year at this time we can reflect on this moment with collective pride for a job well done.

We humbly ask that you celebrate World Turtle Day® 2018 by MAKING A DONATION to sponsor a Radiated Tortoise. Your contribution will not only help continue the lives of these beautiful, iconic, and critically endangered tortoises, but craft a better future for Radiated Tortoises in Madagascar!

All my best for World Turtle Day® 2018,

 

rick signature

Rick Hudson

President - Turtle Survival Alliance

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Changing of the Guard!
Category Blog
Published: Tue, 22 May 2018 01:57:53 +0000
Description:

This past weekend in Ifaty, Madagascar, we again said goodbye to an incredible group of wildlife warriors and hello to a new! During each transition period between response teams, it is important that we ensure the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) continue to receive world-class veterinary and animal care. To ensure a smooth transition and that this level of care is met, our TSA administrative staff, TSA-Madagscar staff, and our many partners throughout the zoological world work diligently to appropriately schedule and stagger the departure and arrival of the many veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal care specialists, communications specialists, and supporting personnel who make up our relief effort teams. Each team works non-stop for approximately two weeks before returning to their respective institutions of employment back home.

We are always sad to say goodbye to each member of our "Team Radiata" teams who poured their hearts and souls into caring for the thousands of tortoises during their time in Madagascar, yet excited to meet those who will next carry the torch! Thank you very much, or "Misaotra betsaka" Team Radiata 2 and hello, or "Salama" Team Radiata 3!

Radiata 2

"Team Radiata 2" pictured left to right: Back row: Dr. Matt Marinkovich (San Diego Zoo), Jordan Gray (TSA), Brett Baldwin (San Diego Zoo), Dr. Pete Koplos (Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group), Jay Allen (private), Doris Dimmitt (private), Nathan Haislip (TSA), Dr. Adriana Nielsen (Wadi al Safa Wildlife Center) Front row: Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rak (TSA), Rachel Walton (San Diego Zoo), Kelvin Alvarez (Wildlife Conservation Society), Jessica Chin (WCS) Not pictured: Dr. Matt O'Connor (Shedd Aquarium), Dr. Bonnie Raphael (private), Christel Griffioen (Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity), Beau Bradley (private), Herilala Randriamahazo (TSA)

 

Radiata 2-3

"Team Radiata 2/3 Transition" left to right: Back row: Melanie Evans (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden), Dr. Pete Koplos, Rachel Walton, Brett Baldwin, Dr. Sean Perry (LSU), Liz McCrae (Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden), Ric Pusey (private), Doris Dimmitt, Paul Reinhart (Cincinnati Zoo), Cassandra Reid (Dallas Zoo), Pattie Walsh (Association of Zoological Veterinary Technicians) Front row: Jessica Chin (WCS), Kelvin Alvarez (WCS), Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rak (TSA) Not pictured: Dr. Bonnie Raphael, Christel Griffioen, Beau Bradley, Herilala Randriamahazo (TSA)

 

Radiata 3 FINAL

"Team Radiata 3" left to right: Max Maloney (Denver Zoo), Cassandra Reid, Kelly Bradley (Fort Worth Zoo), Paul Reinhart, Doris Dimmitt, Melanie Evans, Dr. Sean Perry, Liz McCrae, Christel Griffioen (ACCB), Pattie Walsh, Sean Ploysa (Denver Zoo) Not pictured: Ric Pusey, Beau Bradley

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Veterinary Teamwork makes the Tortoise Dream Work!
Category Blog
Published: Tue, 22 May 2018 01:08:22 +0000
Description:

To provide exceptional medical care to the thousands of Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) seized from wildlife traffickers on April 10, 2018 in Toliara, Madagascar, it takes an amazing assemblage of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and supporting animal care specialists!

Team 2

The veterinary team works at the treatment table inside the on-site clinic at Village des Tortues..

The TSA and our partners in the United States and abroad have been diligently at work to recruit and provide travel and accommodation coordination for some of the top zoological and private veterinary talent. Those who have joined the successional "Team Radiata" teams in Madagascar not only have years of experience with turtles and tortoises under their figurative belts, but also demonstrate an adeptness for working in "field-like" conditions.

Ny AIna

Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa administers subcutaneous fluids to a tortoise under treatment.

On April 23rd, the first veterinary team sent from the U.S. joined TSA veterinarian Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust veterinarian Dr. Natacha Rasolozaka, volunteer veterinarian Dr. Mamy Andriamihajarivo, two TSA keepers from our Tortoise Conservation Center, and 2 volunteers in Ifaty, Madagascar. These incredible veterinarians and support staff had already assessed, provided medical treatment for, and/or begun regimens for approximately 2,800 tortoises.

Matt Marinkovich

Dr. Matt Marinkovich draws antibiotics to treat a young tortoise.

In the following 27 days since the first wave of support arrived from the United States, the teams of conservation heroes have performed an additional 3,492 medical assessments and treatments—a staggering amount! Furthermore, the veterinary and animal care teams have assessed 3,357 individual tortoises for transfer to our facility near Itampolo, Madagascar. Combined, these amounts total nearly 9,650 assessments and/or treatments performed by the veterinarians in the 40 days since the confiscation!

Bonnie

Dr. Bonnie Raphael debrides the mouth of a young tortoise.

You can support these passionate medical specialists, provide medical supplies, and help save tortoises by DONATING TODAY!

Matt O

Dr. Matt O'Connor and the veterinary team treat tortoises in the on-site clinic at Village des Tortues.

Pictured from our second wave or "Team Radiata 2":

Dr. Bonnie Raphael (private/Wildlife Conservation Society), Dr. Ny Aina Tiana Rakotoarisoa (TSA), Dr. Pete Koplos (private/ Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group), Dr. Matt Marinkovich (San Diego Zoo), Dr. Matt O'Connor (Shedd Aquarium), Dr. Adriana Nielsen (Wadi al Safa Wildlife Center), Doris Dimmitt (private), Heather Alford (San Diego Zoo Global), and Jessica Chin (Wildlife Conservation Society)

Photo credits: Jordan Gray

 

 

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Enough Food for an Army!
Category Blog
Published: Mon, 21 May 2018 23:23:09 +0000
Description:

With so many hungry mouths to feed, we must ensure all of the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) seized from wildlife traffickers receive proper nutrition. To do this, each day, hundreds of pounds of food is purchased, delivered, and distributed to the thousands of tortoises being cared for at the SOPTOM-CRCC's "Village des Tortues" and our TSA-Itampolo facility!

The tortoises are fed between one to two times daily on a rotation of various types of green vegetation. This hefty food quantity and rotation provides them not only with full bellies, but also with different nutrients—important for their recovery and long-term health. And, with most of the tortoises displaying vigorous appetites, even this quantity of daily food is quickly devoured!

We at the TSA can't thank all of the supporters around the world enough. Your contributions directly ensure each tortoise receives the nutrition they need for their survival! To help aid us in this relief effort, including the purchase of the hundreds of pounds of daily food needed, please consider DONATING TODAY!

Photo credits: Jordan Gray


Tortoise Feeding 1Juvenile Radiated Tortoises feed on sweet potato leaves.


Tortoise Feeding 5A bounty of mustard greens awaits being fed out to the thousands of tortoises.


Tortoise Feeding 3Juvenile Radiated Tortoises aggregate around piles of sweet potato leaves.



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