INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ten-thousand radiated tortoises were recently discovered inside a house in Madagascar. Officials believe the animals went for months without food or water.
Zookeepers believe poachers had been taking them from the wild and storing them in a random location to eventually send to either the pet trade or over into Asia for medical purposes.
One desert-animal expert estimates that in somewhere like Asia, one adult radiated tortoise is easily worth a couple thousand dollars.
The Indy Zoo joined forces with other conservation groups from around the globe to help nurse these animals back to health.
Indy zookeeper Andrew Ahl is currently in Madagascar as part of this effort. He says he’s checking each individual tortoise and making sure they’re okay.
The Indy Zoo rarely sends its staff out of the country for this type of work which underscores the severity of this situation.