Unfortunately, here is the latest response from TC...
Aug 7, 2014 — Unfortunately, here is the latest response from TC...
Thank you for your emails. We are excited that so many people are expressing concern for these tortoises. It says a lot about how societal views on animal welfare is (finally) changing for the best.
Regarding the iPads mounted on the backs of these tortoises: I honestly believe that these animals do not even notice the extra weight on their shells after living with the accoutrements for 24 hours. Using epoxy to attach various devices to a turtle’s carapace is actually a very common practice. Sea turtles are regularly released all over the world with GPS transmitters attached with epoxy (these devices get smaller all the time, but 10 years ago weighed much more than two iPads). Land tortoises and even smaller freshwater turtles are also regularly outfitted with VHS and GPS radio equipment for tracking and scientific studies. We also attach data loggers to collect temperature and humidity information to turtles to learn more about the environment in which they live. The Turtle Conservancy has been using these methods for many years now. Tagging wild tortoises in remote regions like Madagascar and also captive tortoises at our breeding facility.
Another note on added weight on a tortoise’s carapace: Think about this — when the African Spurred Tortoise mates, in captivity or the wild, there is a 250 + lb. male tortoise bearing down on the top of that female tortoise. Mating of this species can be extremely violent!
Again, we want everyone to know that these animals are former pets — abandoned by their owners! They will never be able to be released into the wild, never. We hope that people might think twice about buying a pet turtle or tortoise after seeing this installation.
Click here to see examples of turtles with electronics attached to their shells.
I hope this email will make things clearer for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.
******* Personal Comment **********
Attaching for scientific purposes is one thing. There is a positive gain for research. This is merely for human entertainment. And all those transmitters are designed to allow the sea turtle/ tortoise to go about life as usual. And I bet those devices dont impede the afore mentioned breeding, which by the way, does not go on for hours upon hour for 2+ months. And tortoise mating is not rape. She has a choice! These tortoises do not.
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