Bert the sulcata tortoise is one of 100 animals that the shelter staff have cared for and are in the process of rehoming. The staff is emotionally and physically drained.
An African spur-thighed tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also known as the sulcata tortoise that was seized by Antrim County Animal Control in Michigan in what appears to have been an animal abuse case, is up for adoption in Michigan. Bert as he is now known, is one of the many animals, including a Clydesdale horse, seized during an Antrim County investigation involving Michael Turland and Brooklyn Beck where authorities seized about 200 animals, including Bert. Many of the animals perished. Bert is one of 100 animals that the shelter staff have cared for and are in the process of rehoming.
“Bert was too weak to eat, he’d hiss when we tried to feed him and he had a really bad cough,” Animal Control Officer Heather Belknap told the Joplin Globe. The staff outfitted a dog run that Bert has been staying he came to the shelter.
Bert’s temporary enclosure features heat lamps, UV lights, a small electric space heater and two bowls for water and food, which includes a tortoise diet and a variety of hay.
According to the Joplin Globe and citing court records, the shelter has incurred more than $15,000 in food, medical care and housing for the animals, and the seizure has been both emotionally and physically draining on the shelter staff.
Th African spur-thighed tortoise is also known as the sulcata tortoise. It is a large tortoise that can exceed 100 lbs. It is native to the southern portion of the Sahara Desert in Africa and is one of the most widely captive-bred large tortoises. They are a long-lived tortoise that requires expert care and a large outdoor enclosure when they reach full size.