Stephen Brend reports on one of our less needy rescued animals at Ensessakotteh, the tortoises!
To be honest we do not need to look after the leopard tortoises as such, they take care of the grass and we leave them alone. The relationship seems to work well.
Tortoises come to us from a variety of places – schools, Government compounds, housing estates and churches – the one thing they all share is proximity to roads. While an adult tortoise shell is a massive strong thing, they are no match for a truck’s tyre. The city is no place for them, so we take them in.
When work first started at Ensessakotteh the tortoises were put in the ‘secure area’ the fenced off part of the site that accommodates the office, and kitchen and sleeping tents. There are eight tortoises there now, which is enough. These days if a tortoise comes in, as happened in March when Alison Hood our Programmes Director was out, we turn it loose on site. Sometimes we see them again, but not often. However, I am sure they are out there. Their shell may not be able to withstand a vehicle but should be enough to stop hyenas and other predators. That is the reason, after all, for why they have it.