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Nature & Environment

Mystery as seven giant tortoises found dead in woodland in England

By T.K. Randall
January 18, 2024 · Comment icon 10 comments
Aldabra giant tortoise.
An Aldabra giant tortoise at a zoo. Image Credit: PD / Yotcmdr
The enormous Aldabra giant tortoises were found dumped in Ashclyst Forest, north of Exeter.
If there's one animal you don't expect to find during a woodland stroll in the English countryside it's a giant tortoise - an animal found natively on exotic islands situated thousands of miles away.

Nonetheless, on January 8th two dead Aldabra giant tortoises were found dumped in Ashclyst Forest, followed by a further five that were discovered just last week in the same area.

The species - which can live for 150 years and has a shell that can grow up to a meter long - is native to the Seychelles some 5,000 miles away.

Exactly how seven of them wound up dead in a forest in England remains a bit of a mystery.

"We are appealing to members of the public for information to try to establish the circumstances around this discovery and to identify those responsible," said Police Inspector Mark Arthurs.
"We would ask that if anyone knows anything, they get in touch."

"We would also like to hear from anyone who has recently purchased a giant tortoise in the area or knows of anyone who normally has a large number of tortoises but has fewer now."

Local residents who frequent the woods were shocked at the discovery.

"It seems quite horrifying," said regular visitor Peter Labdon.

"Considering the length of time that they can live, it's a dreadful shame."

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ouija ouija 1 month ago
I wish people wouldn't dump animals because there's absolutely no need for it. There's always an organisation that will take them in . . . whatever they are. I hope the people who did this are found and spend time in jail.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Alchopwn 1 month ago
I hope they aren't Galapagos tortoises? ?
Comment icon #3 Posted by MrsGently 1 month ago
Aldabra giant tortoises hm? Is it me reading too much into the horrified part, or were they probably 'harvested' for culinary reasons?
Comment icon #4 Posted by TripGun 1 month ago
Sounds like it was a turtle disaster...
Comment icon #5 Posted by qxcontinuum 1 month ago
Although the article is not mentioning these details, I am highly curious if only the shells were discovered.  The lack of meat and bodies can confidently indicate that the traditional Chinese cuisine has something to do with this.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 month ago
Here is a further report from the BBC. For those that are easily upset don't click on the link as it has a police image of three of the dead tortoises:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-68003332 The image shows the bodies totally intact and so we can probably rule out culinary reasons.  
Comment icon #7 Posted by ratman 1 month ago
Victorian era, English folk just loved their turtle soup !!!! Maybe there is a group of such people keeping up the traditions !!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 month ago
These are land tortoises, not the sea turtles that were used in turtle soup. Also, as I have already pointed out, the bodies are intact which means they were not used for meat.
Comment icon #9 Posted by ratman 1 month ago
These are land tortoises, not the sea turtles that were used in turtle soup. Also, as I have already pointed out, the bodies are intact which means they were not used for meat. I know !!!! Just having a joke !!!! 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 month ago
You might want to try putting a smiley emoji after such comments, at least people will know that it was intended to humorous.


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