Saving Tortoises

By on January 23, 2014

Thousands of animals face extinction every year and the risks of that happening can drastically hurt the Earth and its inhabitants. Steps need to be taken in order to help ensure these animals will continue to thrive.

Tortoises face incredible danger because their attractive golden shells can sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. In order to thwart poachers, conservationists have recently turned to carving into the shells of endangered tortoises, protecting the animals by making their domes less attractive. The branded shells  also help authorities to trace turtle shells sold on the black market. The founder and president of the Turtle Conservancy, Eric Goode, hopes that this will be an efficient tool in helping to keep the tortoises alive. Methods used include lasers, tattoos, and engraving.

Doing such methods can hurt the animal inside, however, so the process is done as superficially as possible in order to keep it safe. While it may not be comfortable for the tortoises, carvings never go deeper than the outer keratin layer of the shell. These methods seem to be working as appearances of tortise shells on the black market has drastically decreased since 2011 (when the branding first started).

I believe this to be a reasonable method to help save the few tortoises Earth has left. There may be some who are opposed to the idea, but when compared with the alternative (losing the species forever) it is a price worth paying.

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