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Ex-pet African Spurred Tortoises Arrive

Meet ‘Beatrice’ and ‘Ailsa’ the African spurred tortoises (Centrochelys sulcata), the third-largest species of tortoise in the world. They were rescued by a concerned citizen as infants almost 20 years ago from a Chinese food market in North East Thailand. Now at approximately 20 years old they are still young, with a long life-history, these animals can live up to 70 years. As the name states they are not a native species to this part of the world, in the wild they inhabit the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, in northern Africa. They have been well kept and well taken care of for many years in the garden of the person that rescued them, during this time they have been prevented from producing young but last year an accident happened, 2 little hatchlings were born and found wandering the garden where they had been kept. The ‘owner; had to leave the country and wanted to find a long-term suitable home for these special animals so contacted WFFT for help. Our main focus is on rescuing wildlife native to Southeast Asia but on some instances like this one, exotic animals also need our help. As we have a large open field area that will provide these tortoises with a great new home, we were able to help them. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists African spurred tortoises as Vulnerable (VU) in recent years an increase in capture for international trade has been seen, they are illegally traded as pets and for their body parts which are reportedly used to make longevity potions in Asian countries. Along with their 2 little hatchlings, they are settling well to their new life at WFFT.

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