Morrocoy

This series will be a bit different. So far I’ve mainly shared the beauty of Venezuela and the rescues we’ve done in group.

Those magical moments though are but the smallest aspect of the work of our group. In this series I hope to share the work behind the scenes: the rehabilitation of rescued animals and the conditions in which we work.

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This guy (or girl!) is a morrocoy tortoise. Although considered to be a wild animal, they are a common sight in Venezuelan gardens and patios. They can outlive most humans and grow, over decennials, to a length of about 60 cm (2 feet) or more.

Their carapace seems to give them much needed safety, but in fact they often fall victim to dog attacks and reach our center with a gash in the shell that takes time, love, and care to heal.

Trivia: morrocoy tortoises are traditionally fed on lettuce and tomato, but this is not their advised diet. Tomato is in fact quite toxic and should only be fed once every so often, almost as a treat. Morrocoy tortoises are omnivorous, just like humans, and benefit from a diet that includes vegetables, meat and eggs.

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