Blog | Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
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Turtle Survival Alliance Hires New Executive Director
Category Blog
Published: Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:52:15 +0000

For Immediate Release

July 11, 2018

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Turtle Survival Alliance Hires New Executive Director 

Charleston, South Carolina – Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is pleased to announce that Richard "Rick" M. Hills has been appointed as Executive Director, effective July 16, 2018. Rick will report to TSA's Board of Directors, and will have overall management responsibility for TSA and its global mission of "zero turtle extinctions".

Rick comes to TSA with a strong background as a business leader in California real estate development, an attorney, and an environmental advocate. He has had long-term involvement with the environmental and zoological communities in the United States, and has most recently been serving as Chair of Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global. His interest in, and commitment to, turtle conservation has been lifelong. Currently based in San Francisco, Rick will relocate to the Charleston, South Carolina area, home of TSA's principal office and its Turtle Survival Center, which houses assurance colonies for 30 of the world's most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.

Rick commented: "The Turtle Survival Alliance's work is crucial to global wildlife conservation. We bring the purest science to care for our assurance colonies in South Carolina and to our international field operations in Africa (Madagascar), Asia, Central America, and South America. My goals are to help grow our work and to make people everywhere aware of what an incredible organization we are."

Patricia Koval, Chairman of the Board, TSA added: "We are delighted to have Rick join our dedicated team, including Rick Hudson (President), Andrew Walde (COO), and all of our wonderful colleagues in South Carolina and at our field programs worldwide. We look forward to Rick's passion, dynamism, and expertise to help us grow our ability to achieve the greatest possible results in tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation."


About Turtle Survival Alliance

Turtle Survival Alliance is a non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. Since its formation in 2001, TSA has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. With its commitment to "zero turtle extinctions," TSA transforms passion for turtles into effective conservation action through: (1) restoring populations in the wild where possible; (2) securing endangered species in captivity through assurance colonies; and (3) building the capacity to restore, secure, and conserve species within their range countries. In addition to the Turtle Survival Center in South Carolina, TSA manages collaborative turtle conservation programs in 15 diversity hotspots around the world. For more information, visit: www.turtlesurvival.org; http://www.facebook.com/turtlesurvival; www.instagram.com/turtlesurvival; @turtlesurvival on Twitter.

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For more information, please contact Jordan Gray, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at (912) 659-0978 or by email at jgray@turtlesurvival.org.

Breakout Year for Burmese Roofed Turtles
Category Blog
Published: Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:19:06 +0000

Yangon, Myanmar—TSA-Myanmar Director Kalyar Platt announced that this year's hatching season for the critically endangered Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) was record-breaking! At the recent conclusion of the hatching season, 223 of the grayish-green hatchlings had been produced between two of Myanmar's four conservation facilities for the species.

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A hatchling Burmese Roofed Turtle still displaying its egg tooth is held at the Limpha Village field station along the Upper Chindwin River.

With an all-time high number of eggs under incubation this year, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)/TSA Limpha Village field station, located along the Upper Chindwin River, produced an all-time-high 68 hatchlings. Located on the river's banks, the Limpha Village field station is positioned to directly collect eggs deposited by wild females and translocate them to a protected on-site hatchery. In Mandalay, the Myanmar Forest Department's program at the Yadanabon Zoo manages the only successful captive breeding colony for the species. There, the eggs are collected after deposition for artificial incubation, hatching, and rearing. This program produced an incredible 155 hatchlings in 2018—the results largely attributable to the addition of a new sand nesting bank with better sun exposure. This year's 223 hatchlings will be reared at the respective facilities for 5 years before select individuals are identified for introduction to the wild.

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Myint Tun inspects a recently hatched Burmese Roofed Turtle in the hatchery at the Yadanabon Zoo in Mandalay.

One of the most-endangered of the Batagur genus, the fate of the Burmese Roofed Turtle rests upon a comprehensive multi-pronged conservation approach—the foundation of which is these hatchlings. This multi-institutional and multi-national effort utilizes the handful of naturally-occurring individuals remaining in the Upper Chindwin River, field research, monitoring, and nest protection stations, captive assurance colonies, captive-breeding and head start programs, and strategic release attempts. Currently, there are three national and one international assurance, captive-breeding, and rearing colonies for the Burmese Roofed Turtle. These cornerstone facilities, located at the Yadanabon Zoo, Lawkanandar Wildlife Sanctuary, Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, and Singapore Zoo, now house well over 800 specimens of varying age-classes.

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Dr. Tint Lwin takes morphmetrics of hatchling Burmese Roofed Turtles at the Limpha Village field station.

This effort is supported by the WCS, TSA, Yadanabon Zoo, Myanmar Forest Department, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Panaphil Foundation, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.

Historic Confiscation of Radiated Tortoises, Phase II: Transition to long-term care facility is complete
Category Blog
Published: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:43:17 +0000

Itampolo Rock and Tortoise

A large juvenile Radiated Tortoise sits beside the commemorative stone placed at our Itampolo tortoise facility.

On a late June morning, 62 days after the nearly 10,000 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) were seized from wildlife traffickers in Toliara, Madagascar, a large green truck departed the SOPTOM-CRCC “Village des Tortues” in Ifaty. Contained within it, a precious and historically significant cargo: 1,724 small juvenile specimens of this critically endangered species. The shipment of this smallest size-class of tortoise would represent the final transfer of these beleaguered tortoises, generously held at the SOPTOM facility, to our TSA facility near Itampolo. It would also mark the end of our joint relief operation based in Ifaty and signify the transition of primary operations to Itampolo.

In the more than two months since Soary Randrianjafizanaka, Directeur Regional de l'Environment, de 'Ecologie et des Forets (DREEF Atsimo-Andrefana) first placed the tortoises at the Village des Tortues following the seizure, thousands of tortoises have been transferred in staged intervals to our Itampolo facility. Transported in contingents of 1,000 – 2,000 tortoises based on size and weight class, and given health screenings prior to departure, the tortoises will receive long-term care in Itampolo. These transfers have been charitably sponsored by WWF Madagascar and Deutsche Geselschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Tortoise Truck

The final shipment of tortoises and supplies was provided by Deutsche Geselschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Tasked with the important assignment of transitioning the overall relief operation to Itampolo, including the continuation of medical treatments, animal care, and transportation health assessments, was the 5th wave of our joint relief effort. This contingent was composed of wildlife warriors representing the Shedd Aquarium, White Oak Conservation, University of Florida, University of Queensland, Turtle Survival Alliance, and private practice. The team packed and transported all of the remaining tortoises, medical and animal care supplies, and support equipment to our new facility in Itampolo.

Situated 137 km (85 mi) southeast of Ifaty, the Itampolo facility now houses over 8,900 of the original 10,196 tortoises discovered inside the single residential holding facility. Our new base of operations in the Mahafaly region, this facility recently underwent a major expansion (See the article in the next eNewsletter!) to improve operational capacity for this exceptional number of tortoises. This expansion includes sprawling forested enclosures built into native spiny-forest habitat, guard stations, medical clinic, food preparation area, and a water distribution system that is currently being installed with assistance from the seventh and final wave of volunteers. Here, the tortoises will get a second chance at a long life in Madagascar. They will be cared for by our Malagasy staff until they have passed a safe quarantine period and regained the fat reserves lost during their containment by the wildlife traffickers. It is our goal to reestablish this group of critically endangered tortoises to protected wild reserves through our comprehensive "Confiscation to Reintroduction Strategy."

Sadly, of the original 10,196 animals discovered within the traffickers' holding facility, 1,225 of these beautiful and iconic tortoises will never return to the wild—a tragedy guaranteed by their long and inhumane treatment by poachers. Within the residential holding facility, 308 animals were initially discovered dead by the DREEF, 721 perished during the critical first week post-seizure—despite the greatest attempts of the Malagasy contingent of veterinarians to save them, and 196 perished after the arrival of our joint response teams on April 22nd. Although the loss of 1,225 tortoises to the scourge of wildlife trafficking is significant, the more than 5,900 medical assessments and treatments performed by our veterinarians in Ifaty since April 11th provides evidence that thousands more would have died without intervention.

Continuing this unprecedented relief effort, "Team Radiata 6," representing the El Paso Zoo, Oregon Zoo, and Zoo Atlanta, and "Team Radiata 7," representing the Wildlife Conservation Society, North Carolina Zoo, and Great Plains Zoo, have been putting in long hours on the ground in Itampolo, both working on construction for the facility's expansion and providing medical and husbandry care for the thousands of tortoises. These efforts will, without a doubt, provide a better future for the tortoises in Madagascar.

Team Radiata 6

Team Radiata 6: Jose Arnaud Miarison (TSA), Dr. Kate Leach (Zoo Atlanta), Dr. Mamy Andriamihajarivo (TSA), Kelli Harvison (Oregon Zoo), Luis Villanueva (El Paso Zoo)

Team Radiata 7

Team Radiata 7: Boris (TSA contractor), Kate Archibald (North Carolina Zoo), Janelle Brandt (Great Plains Zoo), Katherine Hagen (North Carolina Zoo), Melissa Ortiz (WCS), Brittany Murphy (WCS), Bruce Moffit (North Carolina Zoo), Terria Clay (WCS)

We owe a debt of gratitude to the DREEF Atsimo-Andrefana, SOPTOM-CRCC, Malagasy Government, the U.S. Embassy, and all the zoological institutions, charitable organizations, NGO's, and private donors who have made the first chapter of this monumental relief effort possible. To continue supporting this historic relief effort and long-term care for the nearly 9,000 Radiated Tortoises now under our care in Itampolo, please consider DONATING TODAY.

Southern Vietnam Box Turtle Hatches at the TSC!
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:14:17 +0000

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.

Red-crowned Roofed Turtles Get a Head Start in India
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:56:19 +0000

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.

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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.

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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.





Fantastic Four!
Category Blog
Published: Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:48:26 +0000

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.

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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.

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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!





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

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.

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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.

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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.





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

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"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.

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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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