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View Diary: 700 Tortoises to be Slaughtered. Because. Austerity. (104 comments)

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  •  A chance tortoise encounter that lingers .. (14+ / 0-)

    This really saddens me. I had a very touching experience with a tame tortoise, though he was not of the desert variety. My wife and I were in Zanzibar, where giant tortoises are kept, safely, at various locations.

    We were visiting a museum on the main island, which kept one, in his 70's IIRC, on its grounds. After a group of us interacted with him for a few moments, we moved past the grass covered yard, along a passageway and toward another building. I had a camera malfunction and stayed in the yard, just inside its gate, which the tour guide reminded me must stay shut, as the rest of the group moved on. I told my wife I would be along in a minute. As I was futzing with the camera, the tortoise slowly made his way around the corner of the museum to the passageway, following the path of the group and came up to me. He wanted to continue interacting (you can actually pet them) - he appeared to be lonely. I sat there for about 5 mins occasionally stroking his head and neck. My wife came back to see what was holding me up. I told her how he followed us. We continued visiting with him until it was time to go.

    At another location, a group of giant tortoises were kept by a beach, on an outlying island, enjoying frequent visits with the tourists and eating much papaya. My wife asked the handlers about the lone tortoise at the museum. They said they offered to include him in their group, but the museum wanted to keep him to attract more visitors. Since he wasn't with any other tortoises, and because of the way their group had become so socialized, the handlers felt sad for him being there alone.

    These ancient desert creatures' habits can no longer be practiced, as their environment gradually vanishes and disease decimates their numbers.

    Just sad.

    ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

    by FrankSpoke on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:37:55 AM PDT

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