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TURTLES & TORTOISES STOLEN - sorry long post

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Posted by: saffire at Fri Nov 18 14:41:18 2005  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by saffire ]  
   

Please pass this on to everyone you know – whether they are a animal lovers or not. My hopes are that the more people who are informed regarding the incident I am going to share with you then the higher the chance that someone will hear about something, get a tip or something else and pass the information on. You know how fast those cute emails circle the globe – well this is my hope.

A dear friend of mine, Turtle Lady, was robbed of thousands of dollars of turtles and tortoises from her home recently. The gravity of the situation is not in just the theft itself, but many of these were pets who she has had for many years. The long life of turtles and tortoises means that many of these animals have been with her since she was young and have certainly grown up with her family. Indeed some of these have followed her children around the home and yard as they took their first steps and grew into adults that they are today in high school, college and married. Simply by the name that she has chosen to represent her you can get the jest of her love for her turtles. The Turtle Lady has touched the lives literally of thousands. She for many years has taken her entourage of turtles/tortoises and other reptiles into schools, libraries, community centers, festivals, etc. to share her love with children. Her motto says it all – Changing little pieces of the world... One Turtle...one Child...at a time. The Turtle Lady has been featured with a full page spread and several other miscellaneous articles in various papers including the Columbus Dispatch for her special programs. She has also had a feature story previously in the Reptile Magazine. I hope now I am truly expressing the gravity of this loss. Well let me add some more – some of the turtles and tortoises stolen were also rescues from individuals who loved them, but could no longer care for them. Again with the life span of these animals many individuals have these for pets for decades and then life chances and they love them no less, but may need help caring for them even temporally. The Turtle Lady has never turned a turtle away. So some of the stolen were not just her beloved animals, but that of others as well. Finally, two were on medicine and none can handle the northern US winters – all were going into hibernation, therefore, they are seriously at risk.

Due to the nature of the animals take in comparison to the ones left behind – it is very obvious that the individual(s) knew what they were doing. All of the animals taken were high dollar species. There has been a theft ring and black market for exotics for some time. The animals are stolen and many times transported to another state and sold at lower rates allowing the buyer to think they are getting a great deal. Due to the dollar amount involved, crossing state lines, etc. this is a felony with federal implications. The good news is that unlike many stolen lizards, tortoises are more commonly tagged. Many of these animals were tagged and if scanned the individual with the stolen property will be caught and prosecuted (at a minimum for receiving stolen property).

Please, if you hear of someone who has a large number of turtles or tortoises and is offering them at a “good deal” – please, please contact me with this information. We will be happy to run down all misleads because we know there is always a chance – this is called hope. I understand this hope, as I too have experienced this type of loss due to theft of on of my pets. I was lucky because someone did just what I am asking and I was able to retrieve my pet.

Also please pass this on like all those cute emails, chain mails, etc. you never know who will receive it and have just the right information to return the Turtle Lady to babies that she has had for decades.

For those of you who are knowledgeable about reptiles here is a list of the types stolen (numbers stolen varied for each species but a total of roughly 35 animals valued in the thousands): Cherryheaded Redfoots, Golden Greeks, large Redfoots, large Yellowfoots, very large Russian and medium Russians, Blandings, Eastern Box, Spotted, and Woods.


   

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