The tortoise concentration camp

Ever wondered what happened to that tortoise you handed over to the competent authority?

It got sent to a concentration camp in the mountains, died, and was thrown in a hole.

Allegedly, according to an investigation by Ecologistas en Acción, who reckon more than 2,000 tortoises in the CREA (wild animal recuperation space) in Vélez Blanco have died through “negligance”.

That’s 1 in 3, in case you’re keeping count of the genocide.

In 9 years the base received 6.840 tortoises, more than half of them in 2015 alone when the law changed to make holding such animals highly illegal. The base was overwhelmed and couldn’t cope.

Half of them have been released back in Sierra Cabrera. 390 went to other CREA bases across Andalusia. 157 were put down. The rest have “gone missing” according to EaA, and no information on their fate can be produced by the Junta.A court case is being prepared to force the opening of the files of the base.

Worth pointing out that the fines, if you touch, harass or even look at one in the wild, are astronomical. Because, you know, you might hurt it or something. Best to leave these things to the professionals (who are, after all, the only ones capable of organising mass extermination on a professional scale).

One Reply to “The tortoise concentration camp”

  1. As the unwilling recipient of a gifted tortoise around this time, studying the relevant statutes left me sweating and unable to sleep. I read up on the animal’s natural habitat and went for a hike to a suitable location armed with a tupperware box containing a small passenger and a few days ration of lettuce. I like to think we both had a narrow escape from the law.

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