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 Continue reading The tortoise concentration camp

A new friend….

Whilst pottering about in the high mountains this week, I stumbled across this little fellow. ABout 12-15 cm long. I’ve never seen such a big one this side of the mountains before. Most of the big ones are over in the Cabo de Gata. I took a video of him – he was eating ants. Whilst recording, he refused to move or eat an ant. As soon as I put the camera down, he relaxed Continue reading A new friend….

Tortoise census takes wanted

Ecologistas en Acción are looking for volunteers to take part in a tortoise census next Saturday May 28. It’s part of a tortoise survey being carried out by the University of Murcia and the Serbal association. The census starts at 10am in Salar de los Canos, Vera. You’ll wander around your designated area all day, and everytime you find a tortoise you call over the vet who is in charge of checking their health. Then Continue reading Tortoise census takes wanted

Turre tortoise arrest

A person in Turre has been arrested for owning 16 tortoises. The owners had them in their garden outside their villa, and the national police were tipped off by an anonymous phone call. Agents raided the property and rescued the animals, which are now being set to Stalg Luft CREA, a habitat for endangered species up in Vélez Blanco (a bit cold for tortoises there at this time of year, but never mind). The owner Continue reading Turre tortoise arrest

Tortoise sanctuary plans dropped for a second time

The planned tortoise sanctuary in Cuevas del Alamanzora has again been put on hold. The national government had planned to expropriate 500 ha of land which would have closed farms, a campsite, two quarries and eleven homes. The plans were dropped earlier this year in favour of a new plan slightly off to the right. This plan has now been dropped after more complaints. A third plan is being mooted to put the sanctuary over Continue reading Tortoise sanctuary plans dropped for a second time

200 people in Cuevas lose homes for a new tortoise sanctuary

200 people in the Los Lobos area of Cuevas and Murcia stand to lose all they possess as a new natural park for tortoises is shifted to avoid expropriating farmland. The national government has been ordered by Brussels to declare a new National Park to allow the endangered local tortoise species to survive, after it ran the unnecessary and unbuilt AVE high speed trainline through the centre of their habitat. The AVE, along with the Continue reading 200 people in Cuevas lose homes for a new tortoise sanctuary

Turre tortoise amnesty

The townhall of Turre is holding a tortoise amnesty on Monday ahead of a new law that makes owning a local tortoise a criminal act. If you have one of these loveable little tykes kicking around in your back garden, as from the 1st of July you could be sent down for between 6 and 24 months in the local clink, as well as a hefty fine. It’s all been illegal to own one of Continue reading Turre tortoise amnesty

Cuevas tortoise sanctuary squashed after farmers complain

A massive tortoise sanctuary project in Cuevas has been shelved after complaints by farmers. The central Ministry of the Environment wanted to create a new 500 ha natural park for the massively endangered local tortuga mora, but Cuevas townhall appealed and local farmers who looked set to lose land objected viciously to the plans. Some 130 landowners would have lost land under the plan, but the Ministry originally said that the land was unproductive and Continue reading Cuevas tortoise sanctuary squashed after farmers complain

59 tortoises freed from a local smuggler

Our local tortoise, the tortuga greca, is, despite being everywhere, in danger of extinction. Despite that, it seems some cheeky chappies think nothing of roaming the hills, filling bags with them, and then flogging them over the internet. The Coppers tracked down the smugglers via the adverts they were placing online, arranged to meet them to pick up an specimen, and nicked them. Two people have been arrested, and a total of 59 tortoises freed, Continue reading 59 tortoises freed from a local smuggler