Leopard tortoise rescued

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Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Urucone » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:08 pm

Today around 9:00, a oke waited me in at the store with a pick and pay plastic bag, he said that he has something that he wants’ to sell, so I asked him to show me and here was a +- 45 cm leopard tortoise in the bag, someway(Don't know what happened) I snapped,(I think it's that I knew how these people cook tortoises; upside down in the shell alive) I told the guy he has two choices; he can leave the tortoise with me or he can wait for the police and explain to them where he poached it, with a few groans he left, after a while he came back and asked me if I can give him R20 for his effort on taxi fee's, I had two things running through my head
1) give him the R20 and help him in doing it again to someone else
2) Refuse it and see what happens
I chose 2 and nothing happened, I gave the tortoise some of the salad that I feed to the beardies and he ate, so in my mind I wonder if it wasn't some ones secret pet,
Well around 19:00 I let it go in Zilkaatsnek nature reserve, just to find out that they have a few around at the water holes, so due to the fact that there are a few around means that everything that the tortoise will need is there.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Marcel2992 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:55 pm

:D :D :D :D
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Mr Venom » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:59 am

That's great atleast his back in his natural habitat. :D :D:D
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Rodis » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:10 am

.I did the exact opposite to you Urucone, I paid the fella. Others have already told me I was stupid and all I did was make the situation worse.

About 30km from Sun City is a four way stop. The locals are always selling tortoises and lately I have noticed chameleons. About a month ago I stopped and offered the guy R100-00 for a chameleon which I release when I got home. I have "#$%^" luck at the best of times, so I hope I didn’t release the poor fellow into a tree with a Boomslang in it.

I contacted Natcon who said they are aware of the fact but there is not much they can about it.
Also before we judge these people, we need to remember that poverty plays a huge role. It’s easier for me to judge the man with the tortoise, but he may have kids that are starving, alternatively he could be hijacking people at the same set of robots!
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby atropos » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:51 pm

It is complicated but I think that is a bit of a cop out from natcon. Poverty also plays a role in drug running, house break-ins etc but it is against the law (?)and thus in my opinion the responsibility of the relevant authorities to uphold it. I admire the previous porter's willingness to pay 100 rand to release it but I think this may just support the trade.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Rodis » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:05 pm

That’s what all my game ranger mates said, that by paying him, I just made him go find ten more. Which if he did, I really regret doing what I did!

What was I to do though, you can’t afford to be aggressive or make demands in a possible hostile situation. My wife was mad with me as it was, for stopping on the side of a road with my two year old. I just felt sorry for the little fellow that was getting flashed to every car as it went passed.

I agree I probably made things worse but at the time I thought it was right.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby atropos » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:23 pm

Hey man, hats off to you for trying to make a difference. You did at the time what you thought was best. These matters are sensitive and complicated and at the end of the day we can only learn through experience. Although natcon seem uninterested maybe report the sellers to them or the police. If enough people pester them maybe they'll do something eventually.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby mailjvdb » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:31 pm

I say one should stop and demand the animal from the seller, and state they hand it over or the police will be summoned, like Urucone did... Why should you pay anything if it belongs to nature in the first place! Then the animal can be released. WE the public need to take action if Nature Conservation does nothing! This will also discourage the "traders" from doing their business so openly.

Rodis, your intentions was good, and most of us have made that mistake sometime or other, specially when we were younger. But we should not support this trade. These people are usually young and fit, and no reason except for being lazy why they cannot get a job. I'm really tired of our heritage being plundered so ruthlessly.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby mailjvdb » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:33 pm

Natcon is pathetic...

I reported a guy selling wild caught Padlopers and Leopard tortoises, and nada, zip, not even a reply... Its up too us people, educate the youth and be proactive!
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Rodis » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:08 pm

Mailjvdb

I tried demanding it at first, I tried to use the emblem on my catch and release permit as my bait, unfortunately the part about being young and fit came in about here, and he just bolted into the bush, only me waving the blue note in the air got him to come back..........
Natcon acknowledged that they knew it was an on going problem, I can almost say with total confidence, that if you rode past there right now, they will be selling something or another.
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby mailjvdb » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:08 pm

Well if everyone persisted in harassing them it might help, but the problem is a bit difficult to solve. The same thing is going on at Aliwal North, and it will probably go on forever. There are probably many other "hotspots" where our indigenous fauna and flora are being sold, but as long as I try to stop it, I am happy
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Urucone » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:32 pm

Thanks for hijacking the thread guy's, but this is starting to become a problem, I would guess in the past month or two I had several reptiles offered as livestock to buy, If I can recall it was a mfezi(around 60 cm), 2 x heralds (adults), this tortoise, a savannah monitor and a African rock python around (40 cm) , unfortunately I only got to save the tortoise and 1 herald.
I also have seen indigenous livestock in pet stores, where the owners are none the wiser and best of all it's a people inside the reptile community that takes advantage of these pet stores that can't make out the difference between a their left and right thumb, If things keeps on like this than we are fighting a losing battle if everyone of us meet 6 reptiles in two months and can only save 2 out of the six, where will this lead to.

I had a BHS a while back that I've nursed back to health after a few kids threw it with rocks, I got attached to the snake and had difficulty to let it go, so I thought to find out how to get permits or a temporary permit that can entitle me to keep anything for a small period of time and maybe start a little private sanctuary of sorts, well let me just say; closed doors.

I wish that I had more authority to confiscate these animals or to do something about it but everywhere I go or everyone I talk to; I end up at closed doors.
as long as you keep quiet, no one will notice that your dumb
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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby froot » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:43 pm

I have no idea how I missed this, thanks for the reports! Keep them coming.

Ok so I've removed all the nonsense from the first inflammatory post. This is an interesting discussion so let's try again.

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Re: Leopard tortoise rescued

Postby Nineve » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:25 pm

North West is in serious need of education on snakes.

North West is mostly farm land, snakes, tortoises, amphibians and other reptiles are a lot more common. Most of the farmers just kill them. Urucone is trying to start something off the ground but still needs some planning. Most of the farm workers eat the tortoises! It’s horrible how they prepare them! I don’t have enough fingers to count on, on how many leopard tortoises we “saved” and released on our land. But unfortunately my human nature always got the better of me and I will give them something to eat in exchange.
There is much sadness in this world but the animals can’t speak for themselves, we have to be their voice.
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