Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The Tortoise Wars

A few years ago, the Almería ecologistas managed to push through the Junta de Andalucía a rule saying that we couldn’t keep the tortuga mora in our gardens. 

This rare Spanish tortoise needed some good old TLC from the tree-huggers. 

Specimens would be handed in to Seprona (the Guardia Civil animal protection unit) and re-housed in safety. 

The two places built for the purpose were one in Bédar at 600,000€ which was never used (except for occasional BBQs and botellones) and another, above the snow-line, in Velez Blanco.

 Fines were considerable if you were caught with one of these tortoises (Mojácar has lots of them in the campo). 

At the time, I wrote ‘if you find a tortoise in your garden, either give it to the cops, or quietly brain it, or throw it over the garden wall into your neighbour’s property. Let them take care of it’. Happy times. 

Now we read , to no one’s surprise except the politicians, ‘The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (CAGPyDS) has responded, a year late, to the request from Ecologists in Action regarding the fate of the tortugas moras collected at the Centre for the Recovery of Threatened Species in Vélez Blanco-Almería. 

The answer is devastating: thousands have died in this centre, where it is assumed they were recovering for their reintroduction into the natural environment…’. 

Ecologistas en Accion here carefully dodging the bullet.


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