15 near-extinct giant tortoises found slaughtered in Galapagos Islands

jcase

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By Heather Leah, WRAL multiplatform producer

Park rangers with the Galápagos National Park Directorate discovered the remains of 15 giant tortoises slaughtered on southern Isabela Island.

The Galápagos Conservancy called the discovery "shocking," as the giant tortoises are already fighting to survive extinction.

"The disturbing news follows on another report this year of 185 small tortoises found on March 29, 2021, in a suitcase at the Baltra Island airport being trafficked to the mainland for sale," wrote the Galápagos Conservancy in a statement.

Officials said the Galápagos Islands, famous both for their rare giant tortoises and for Charles Darwin's research on the theory of evolution, are becoming increasingly ensnared in the global wildlife trade. That trade could take an enormous toll on the giant tortoises, the largest living species of tortoise in the world, weighing up to 919 pounds. In the wild, they may live longer than a century.

Officials said 123 juvenile tortoises were stolen from the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Isabela Island in 2018.

"While only a few local residents still kill tortoises, local demand for tortoise meat and other tortoise products has escalated. With few tortoises remaining on the primary volcano affected – Sierra Negra, which once hosted the largest of all populations in Galápagos – this ongoing killing poses a major threat to the species’ continued existence," wrote officials in a statement.

In June of 2020, WRAL reported on 15 giant tortoises being released in the Galapagos Islands after spending decades in captivity.
 

jcase

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This is utterly disgusting and hopefully they find who did it and give them the same treatment!
I'm all for an eye for an eye!!!
Agreed, FWIW I tried to post this under the article section, but it appears that forum is closed. If there is a more appropriate please, feel free to move it.
 

wellington

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Agreed, FWIW I tried to post this under the article section, but it appears that forum is closed. If there is a more appropriate please, feel free to move it.
Not that it had to be moved, but I did move it, to the tortoises in the news section.
 

Tom

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I have heard that some of the locals who object to some of the wildlife protection laws intentionally and blatantly kill the giants as a show of rebellion and defiance. They openly threaten to do so when they don't like a new rule from the government there. I don't believe those people should be slaughtered, but I do believe they should be exiled from this unique, delicate and precious part of the planet. I'd prefer to see them take up their problem with the people responsible rather than taking it out on a rare, endangered, irreplaceable, innocent species.

Having said that, this article is also full of the usual emotional fear-mongering non-sense associated with nearly all "news" today. From the article:
"Officials said the Galápagos Islands, famous both for their rare giant tortoises and for Charles Darwin's research on the theory of evolution, are becoming increasingly ensnared in the global wildlife trade. That trade could take an enormous toll on the giant tortoises, the largest living species of tortoise in the world, weighing up to 919 pounds. In the wild, they may live longer than a century."

This is non-sense. There is no "global wildlife trade" with this species. Its CITIES appendix I. There is NO international trade with this species. None. Hell, we can even sell CB babies domestically anymore outside of our own state. The quote from the article makes it sound like they are being collected form the wild and sold all over the world, and we are taking too many for the "global wildlife trade". Illegal poaching may happen on a very rare occasion, but there is no legal trade of this species. They are not exported and sold at all.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have heard that some of the locals who object to some of the wildlife protection laws intentionally and blatantly kill the giants as a show of rebellion and defiance. They openly threaten to do so when they don't like a new rule from the government there. I don't believe those people should be slaughtered, but I do believe they should be exiled from this unique, delicate and precious part of the planet. I'd prefer to see them take up their problem with the people responsible rather than taking it out on a rare, endangered, irreplaceable, innocent species.

Having said that, this article is also full of the usual emotional fear-mongering non-sense associated with nearly all "news" today. From the article:
"Officials said the Galápagos Islands, famous both for their rare giant tortoises and for Charles Darwin's research on the theory of evolution, are becoming increasingly ensnared in the global wildlife trade. That trade could take an enormous toll on the giant tortoises, the largest living species of tortoise in the world, weighing up to 919 pounds. In the wild, they may live longer than a century."

This is non-sense. There is no "global wildlife trade" with this species. Its CITIES appendix I. There is NO international trade with this species. None. Hell, we can even sell CB babies domestically anymore outside of our own state. The quote from the article makes it sound like they are being collected form the wild and sold all over the world, and we are taking too many for the "global wildlife trade". Illegal poaching may happen on a very rare occasion, but there is no legal trade of this species. They are not exported and sold at all.
Agreed
Some news stories contain a grain of truth. Then filler to make it more interesting.
Or no truth at all.
 

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