The Wildcare Foundation rescued 2 Aldabra tortoises from the illegal wildlife trade who found their forever home at Oakland Zoo.
The Oakland Zoo welcomed 2 male teenage Aldabra tortoises after they were rescued in April 2021 from a roadside zoo in Oklahoma by the Wildcare Foundation. After the rescued pair received initial treatment for neglect and malnourishment, the foundation collaborated with the Chelonian Taxonomic Advisory Group—a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums—to find them this forever home.
“We take a lot of pride in giving rescues a home here at Oakland Zoo. While there are more animals in need out there than we have the space and the caregiving capacity for, we’re thankful to be able to give at least some of those rescues the best quality of life possible," said Nik Dehejia, CEO at Oakland Zoo, in an organizational release.
Over the years, Oakland Zoo has rescued its fair share of animals from the illegal wildlife trade. When the Port of Oakland and the San Francisco International Airport confiscate animals, they bring them to Oakland Zoo for treatment, care, and a permanent sanctuary.
According to the release, tortoises can live over 120 years old, typically outliving their owners. They can also grow up to 550 pounds which requires a lot of space, something illegal buyers might not have. Also, buyers usually cannot provide proper care for these animals leading to unnecessary suffering and neglect.
The latest additions to the Oakland Zoo will bring the total number of Aldabra tortoises to 8. The 2 teenagers will join their new family once they have been quarantined and deemed healthy by the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital.
“We’re excited to welcome these boys to the family. We’ve administered many tests such as bloodwork, x-rays, viral testing, checking for parasites, and administering any necessary treatment,” expressed Alex Herman, DVM, vice president of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo.
SHELL-o There! Oakland Zoo Welcomes New Tortoises Rescued from the Illegal Wildlife Trade. News release.Oakland Zoo. March 9, 2022. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.oaklandzoo.org/news/new-tortoises