GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Wild Rescue, situated in Klipfontein between Riversdale and Still Bay, fetched 23 leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys Pardalis) from a woman on a farm outside Worcester.
The woman rescued tortoises for over 20 years, but was moving to Cape Town and contacted Wild Rescue, desperate to find a safe sanctuary to look after her rescued tortoises.
Many of these tortoises show signs of human abuse.
One tortoise, named Ouma, is estimated to be in the region of 60 years old, weighs 26 kg and is 54.5 cm long. This tortoise belonged to the 'ouma' of the farm and was with the family for at least 45 years.
These tortoises cannot be released due to having lived in captivity for so long, and may carry pathogens which can infect wild tortoises.
Wild Rescue had to build an enclosure for them within three weeks to provide a safe space, including a shelter and water. CapeNature has given the requisite permit to look after them.
The public can visit Wild Rescue and the tortoise enclosure, and walk the trails on the nature reserve (Covid-19 guidelines apply). It must be noted that no personal direct contact is allowed with the tortoises who can be seen over the fence; no selfies and no feeding. Tortoises are wild creatures and should not be viewed as pets, and should be left in the wild unless injured or threatened.
More information on Wild Rescue can be found here, or you can phone 078 875 5776 to arrange a visit. Prior booking essential. There is no charge, however donations to the non-profit organisation are always welcome.
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