The Tortoise and the Log
Something as innocent and harmless as a tortoise is among the world’s most endangered vertebrates. They are slow and peaceful and have lived in some form for more than 220 million years. Yet, about half of their 300 plus species are threatened with extinction. In general, most tortoise species can live from 80 to 150 years old. An Aldabra giant tortoise was even said to have live up to an estimated 255 years.
The threats to tortoise and turtles are many and humans are the main cause. They are collected by traders, eaten in the wild and in restaurants. They are also used in traditional medicine and as pets. Sometimes they are just simply killed off for no reason. The destruction of their habitat is not helping either.
Our destruction of nature is a reflection of our current state of consciousness. What does it tell us that even the most peaceful and sturdy tortoises are becoming extinct.
This is a 2011 report from the Turtle Conservation Coalition:
We are facing a turtle survival crisis unprecedented in its severity and risk. Humans are the problem, and must therefore also be the solution. Without concerted conservation action, many of the world’s turtles and tortoises will become extinct within the next few decades. It is now up to us to prevent the loss of these remarkable, unique jewels of evolution.
It is one thing to know, it is another to understand…and eventually to be awaken.