Stop the planned killing of desert tortoises
News recently broke that the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center near Las Vegas is running out of funds and many tortoises may be euthanized! Please sign to help to make sure the Bureau of Land Management & U.S. Fish and Wildlife do everything they can do save these animals unless there is legitimate health reason to consider.
After caring for approximately 1400 desert tortoises, the Bureau of Land Management & U.S. Fish and Wildlife no longer have the funds to continue to operate the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center near Las Vegas. These animals have been in the Southwest for 200 million years, we can't just sit here and let them die. Transition plans are being discussed right now, so every day counts as we consider what is in these amazing animals' best interest.
The BLM and USFWS say that they will attempt to return as many to the wild as are healthy, but as a last resort, they will euthanize. Instead of finding an alternate method, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service may euthanize hundreds of tortoises who are no longer fit for survival in the wild -- many of these animals were pets, turned over to the Center. But there are many suggestions from people who want to donate land, money, time, and help adopt some of the animals into suitable environments rather than see them put to death.
Experts in this article estimate that number (to be euthanized) in the hundreds. Please show your support and ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cease plans to euthanize and find another way. It's important that people everywhere show support so they know the whole world is watching and offering a helping hand.
**UPDATE August 27**
Fish and Wildlife Service called and stated emphatically that they are not euthanizing all of the tortoises and tried to blame the press for misleading people. However, when I requested an approximate number of tortoises that would be euthanized, they were unable to provide that number. An inside source close to the facility estimates that number to be around 200.
The fact remains that many of these tortoises may be killed despite other non-lethal options to re-home them. All we're trying to do is make sure the appropriate agencies do their due diligence in trying to save all the tortoises who can continue to live in peace.
While I understand that budgets are tight and money is scarce, I believe that the funds required could be raised, yet instead of finding an alternate method, the BLM plans to euthanize the hundreds of tortoises who are no longer fit for survival in the wild -- many of these animals were pets, no longer wanted by owners.
Please cease plans to euthanize and find another way.