Tortoises all the way down
December 13, 2011 3:39 PM   Subscribe

"Richard Lewis is director of Durrell's Madagascar programme. Here he speaks about how the team and the local villagers are working to protect the world's rarest tortoise. This includes the drastic measure of "defacing" the beautiful shells in order to make the animals worthless on the black market."
posted by vidur (5 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Aw, they're beautiful.

(and I'm also glad because I was wondering which Dremel bit to use to engrave some wood pieces this weekend, and it seems that I picked the right one. If it's good enough for engraving turtles, it's good enough for me!)
posted by sawdustbear at 5:14 PM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was a DJ at a college radio station, and defacing record / CD jackets and labels was standard practice to prevent theft. It worked, but it never occurred to me that it might also have broader, not-getting-the-Silver-Apples-LPs-ripped-off applications.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:36 PM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Actually, dehorning and detusking has been very seriously considered. The only reason it isn't widely done is because of the importance of horns and tusks in defence and more importantly, mating displays.
posted by atrazine at 7:51 PM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Is it bad that, when reading the WP tortoise article, when I saw "WWF", my mind saw "NSFW" until I re-read the line?

It's sad seeing such neat and relatively helpless animals taken advantage of like that.

I still treasure the (I hope) rare memory of stumbling upon tortoise sexy times at the zoo once. Sad thing to say is that a bypassing zookeeper (who, had the wedding ring not been there, could have been a recipient of Samizdata sexy times) told me that they had to keep the couple apart most of the time since the female was suffering frequent shell damage from the male's positioning during the aforementioned sexy times, then went on to indicate where the female's shell had been repaired in the past.
posted by Samizdata at 11:01 PM on December 13, 2011

And, ummm, that would have been MY wedding ring, BTW.

talk about blood-sucking, life ruining parasites...
posted by Samizdata at 11:04 PM on December 13, 2011

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