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Update: Desert Tortoise Relocation Plans Halted Because of High Death Toll

Written by PETA | October 21, 2008
Click the photo to view the slideshow at
Credit: C.R. Stecyk III

As promised, we have an update regarding the relocation of endangered desert tortoises, which army officials began airlifting earlier this year in preparation for the land expansion of Fort Irwin in California.

To jog your memory a bit: The desert tortoises had been living in critical habitats located near (and sometimes on) Fort Irwin–owned land. These protected land areas were created in order to provide protection for these reptiles and boost their dwindling population.

Sadly—but certainly not unexpectedly—phase one of the project has reportedly resulted in the deaths of 90 desert tortoises. Even worse, officials expected there to be some loss of life because of the relocation, but they continued with their plans anyway. Officials clearly underestimated the frailty of these animals and the harm that relocation could cause. It’s pretty clear that officials failed to consider all potential threats to these tortoises when they factored into their plans the deaths of up to 136 desert tortoises during the entirety of phase one—not the deaths of 90 tortoises during the initial relocation, as has happened.

Early reports indicated that many of the relocated tortoises seemed to be moving in a direction back toward their original home. Unfamiliar surroundings, lack of shelter, and larger animals such as coyotes put these tortoises in great danger right from the get-go.

On a somewhat positive note, army officials have—for the time being—halted plans for further relocation.

Obviously, we at PETA don’t believe that any project that causes disruption and stress to a group of animals can be deemed a success. At least now, army officials have no choice but to consider the welfare of these desert tortoises and possibly to show them a bit of the compassion that they should have shown from the start.

Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky

Commenting is closed.
  • Kurt K says:

    Well that is one way of interpreting that passage if you only read that. However if you read the entire passage it paints a different picture. I believe it is saying our bodies are equal but or soles are not. We live after death in either joy or sadness. Animals just die and go back into the earth. Thats how I read it. Plus is it more of a hypothetical question not a statement of fact. I will see you heaven someday Saucy. You can count on it.

  • Saucy says:

    I serve a loving God. You serve Satan with every bite of animal flesh you take. And God does love animals as much as man it says so in Ecclesiatees 319. You think so highly of yourself but the Bible says you are a mist a vapor that is visible for a little while and then disappears like a puff of smoke. No people are not so special that is why most of them will GO TO HELL. Clearly your knowledge of the Bible and what it actally says is very limited. You believe the lies of Satan above the RIGHTOUSNESS OF GOD. You could give a shit about whatever you eat has gone through. You are merciless. Now I am through with you Kirt K. Only a FOOL hates reproach. And if you want to know how I know what I know ask God to show it to you. And if your still standing then you may seek my council.

  • Kurt K says:

    You made one comment that I have heard before. “I interpret the Bible the way it was meant to be interpreted.” Says who? You? I get it you believe God loves animals as much as he loves man. Well I don’t. Don’t fool yourself you are not preaching love for all. You are preaching love for animals and at the same time damning man. Where is the love in that? And I have read the last book. I also read John 316. That is the true love of God. He knows we are no perfect that is why we have free will. If I am doing something wrong now that I believe is right he will call me on it when I die and I will be able to ask for forgivness. That is what I believe.

  • Saucy says:

    Hey Kurt K. have you nothing better to do then to come on this website and provoke the wrath of the goodhearted people of Peta. I don’t have to explain my lifestyle to you. You wouldn’t understand it anyway. I know what the Bible says. I know what the foreword says. According to you the Bible is nothing more then a memo do whatever you want because Jesus died for your sins. You better read the end of the book. You better take out your bullshit detector too. There are mistranslations and abominations and Jesus cursed the fig tree. There are parables. Don’t you get it. Eating meating or blood is forbidden and I don’t care what Moses supposedly wrote about Noah on that boat 500 years after his death. A whole lotta stuff happened on that boat that wasn’t supposed to happen and didn’t make it into the translation. You gotta use discernment. That particular verse is a weak argument for factory farming. It’s a selfserving mistranslation an excuse and a lie from hell. I interpret the Bible the way it was meant to be interpreted with LOVE. LOVE of all of GOD’S creations. God’s Kingdom. I respect and LOVE the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD. If you come into my house and tell me you love me then kick my dog. Guess what? I am not going to believe you. I will turn you over to the torturers the police. I will cast you out of my house. There is evil in the world. Really? The Bible say this world is ruled by evil. That Satan the Devil and his demonic army of demons the prince and principalities of the air are the current rulers of this present darkness. That in the last days the onslaught of the enemy will be so great that no man could endure and thus the second coming of Christ. Factory Farming could not get any more severe any worse. And it will be the Last Supper for many who dare to dishoner GOD.

  • Kurt K says:

    I guess you go the local library to use the computer then? My Bible says a lot of things. You interpet your Bible any way you want I will do the same with mine. If you want to live that way feel free to it is your right in this country. I agree that humankind has its darkspots. That is easy to see we are not perfect and God knows that. That is why Christ died for our sins. So we may be forgiven. Though there is evil in this world there is also good. I think you are choosing to ignore that aspect. I see it everyday you should look harder its not dificult to see.

  • Saucy says:

    Kurt K. PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL! But thanks for asking about my living conditions. I live in a single room with no toilet or cooking facilities. I shop at the goodwill and own three pair of shoes all vegan. I do not own a car. I travel by public transportation. I live my life before God not mankind and I do not eat from the Table of Satan. Only a delusional fool could be proud of the humanrace and since I live in America that wiped out the humble way of life of indians I am forced to live the way I do. Building codes and whatnot. It is illegal in some states to live without electricity. It’s all apart of the big shakedown. So please you do not know who you are talking too. My Bible says the yoke of Christ is meek gentle humble and lowly not hard and harsh sharp and pressing.

  • Kurt K says:

    Wow Saucy it seems you aren’t to proud of your race. However unless you live in the wilderness with no running water or electricity I’d say you have no room to talk. You can’t condemn mankind and then accept all the comforts that mankind has provided. It seems a little hypocritical if you ask me. If you do live without all these things feel free to keep saying what you are saying.

  • Saucy says:

    Turtoise All creatures great and small diserve to live without interference from the most egregious of creations mankind.

  • Crystal says:

    Thanks for the up date this is heartbreaking! I can not believe that so many lives where lost due to human ignorance and plain out thoughtless behavior.. Thank you so much Peta! Don’t give them a inch! Behind you all the way! Sending lots of love warm wishes..