Freedom for the mountain tortoise!

P1120317On Saturday 30 November we went into the squatter camp to find a dog we’re treating, & what do we find? A  sweet little tortoise! He (or she?) had a hole in his shell by which he was chained to the shack. The poor thing was scrabbling in the dust searching for a place to hide from the sun. No water for him to drink & just a box of dried-up cabbage leaves to eat.


Unfortunately, there’s a superstition that having a tortoise tied to your house or bed improves the sex life so we occasionally come across this kind of thing.

We explained to the owners why you cannot keep a tortoise like this: tortoises have very specific needs – if not met, they will suffer & die. It’s also illegal to keep them without a permit. The language barrier makes explaining things very challenging sometimes.

The 'food' box

The ‘food’ box

Of course we couldn’t leave him to his fate. So, we unchained him, swooped him up, & took him with us to the vet so he could have the wire gently removed & be checked for injuries. Thankfully, he hadn’t sustained any serious wounds or illnesses (although he’ll always have a hole in his shell).

And then this lucky little tortoise went to a volunteer’s friend who knows tortoises well, has a permit, & whose entire garden is geared towards looking after them! We’re told he’s settling in very well & happily munching on fresh greens every day. Goodbye little tortoise, we’re so glad we could rescue you!

See, FAW doesn’t just help cats & dogs – we love all animals, great & small.

The sight that greeted us on arrival

The sight that greeted us on arrival










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