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Dozens Of Turtles And Tortoises Evacuated From Behler Chelonian Center Due To California Fires

Ploughshare tortoises, a Galapagos tortoise, baby pig-nosed turtles, radiated tortoises and golden coin turtles were just a few of the species evacuated due to the California fires.

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The Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center in Ventura County had to be evacuated December 5 due to the fires that have burned wildlands in southern California. According to the Los Angeles Times, the turtles and tortoises, including a 400-pound Galapagos tortoise, ploughshare tortoises, baby pig-nosed turtles, radiated tortoises and golden coin turtles were safely evacuated from the center and sent to a warehouse for safekeeping.

Posted by Turtle Conservancy on Thursday, December 7, 2017

“We were able to evacuate the bulk of the animals at our sanctuary, including the most endangered species, but a few remain in ponds we couldn't get to in time,” the conservancy wrote on its Facebook page less than 24 hours ago. “A few TC employees stayed back with the turtles against the evacuation orders in hopes to protect them. Hoping for the best and that the winds and Mother Nature have the turtles in mind. We will update everyone as we learn more.” 


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Today, the Turtle Conservancy announced that the center in Ventura County survived the fire, as did all the chelonians.

“We had a carefully rehearsed rescue strategy and worked beautifully,” Eric Goode, a spokesman for the facility told the Los Angeles Times.