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Tortoises

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NEWS
September 7, 1991 | PAUL FELDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After an intense public outcry, Las Vegas officials are shying away from plans to kill desert tortoises not adopted or relocated within five days after being found on properties slated for development. Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury said Friday he will introduce a resolution at the next Board of Commissioners meeting to scrap the option of euthanizing tortoises. The board is likely to approve the proposal at its Sept. 17 meeting, commissioners said.
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NEWS
January 16, 2014 | By Stacey Leasca
In a bit of life imitating Aesop's fables, a tortoise has beaten a hare in a skiing competition in China. Yes, that first line is real. (And OK, so it wasn't a hare but a pet rabbit; it still could do the long jump.) The contest, held at Sanmenxia in central China's Henan province, calls on sports enthusiasts to enter the race along with a furry friend. The weirder the pet, the more points the owner is given. PHOTOS: Amazing images from 2014 so far The 40 human contestants were allowed to place their animals on either skis or sledges, or simply lead the animal during competition.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2012 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Stubborn does not come close to describing the desert tortoise, a species that did its evolving more than 220 million years ago and has since remained resolutely prehistoric. Its slowpoke take on biological adaptation has exposed modern vulnerabilities. The persnickety reptile is today beset by respiratory infections and prone to disease. Its only defenses are the shell on its back and the scent of its unspeakably foul urine. FOR THE RECORD: The subheadline on an earlier online version of this article erred in describing the desert tortoises as "endangered creatures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The booming illegal international wildlife trade forced conservationists to do the unthinkable Tuesday: Brand the golden domes of two of the rarest tortoises on Earth to reduce their black market value by making it easier for authorities to trace them if stolen. "It's heartbreaking that it's come to this, but it's the right thing to do," Paul Gibbons, managing director of the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center in Ventura County, said as he gently placed a 30-pound adult female ploughshare tortoise on a small table.
SCIENCE
July 8, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Forget the John Deere tractor: giant island tortoises make the best lawn mowers, according to a new study. In an effort to control the alien plants that had dominated a small island in the Indian Ocean for decades, scientists introduced two types of land tortoises. Round Island , a 529-acre island off the coast of Mauritius, has a long history of onslaught by invasive species. The island was overrun in the 1800s by rabbits and goats brought in by humans. The critters stripped the island bare, threatening a host of native reptiles and a substantial seabird colony.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 1991
The ugly irony of it all. Our family adopted two baby endangered desert tortoises last Christmas. We give them daily care. The vet bills mount as they have frequent bouts with respiratory disease. We see them as an important part of history and our planet's future survival. And the irony? As we struggle to save our fragile endangered tortoises, our neighbors in Las Vegas Valley plan to kill them. How stupid and ignorant. SUSAN TELLEM MARSHALL THOMPSON Beverly Hills
WORLD
December 4, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Galapagos National Park officials reported that eight eggs laid by two female companions of Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George are infertile. George, estimated to be 75 to 80 years old, is believed to be the last living member of Geochelone nigra abingdoni. The females belonged to a related species. The eggs were the first from any of George's mates in 36 years of effort by park rangers to produce an offspring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An 18-year-old local man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of animal cruelty and grand theft in the removal and torture of a 42-pound African spurred tortoise. Jose "Tony" Mosqueda was arrested without incident after a search warrant was served in the 600 block of Cedar Street in Ventura, authorities said.
OPINION
October 13, 2010
In case you missed it Re "Tortoises make way for solar site," Oct. 9 Where were the activist groups speaking out and demonstrating against this uprooting of the tortoise population? Did anyone ask the tortoises if they were OK with this upheaval of their daily lives, particularly during mating season? No, nobody out there is complaining because this is a "green" effort. I'm all for solar as an additional energy source, but face it, there is an environmental impact and nobody wants to talk about it because it is green.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The booming illegal international wildlife trade forced conservationists to do the unthinkable Tuesday: Brand the golden domes of two of the rarest tortoises on Earth to reduce their black market value by making it easier for authorities to trace them if stolen. "It's heartbreaking that it's come to this, but it's the right thing to do," Paul Gibbons, managing director of the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center in Ventura County, said as he gently placed a 30-pound adult female ploughshare tortoise on a small table.
SCIENCE
December 13, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
In recent years, California's Agassiz's desert tortoise population has been decimated by shootings, residential and commercial development, vehicle traffic, respiratory disease and predation by ravens, dogs and coyotes. Now, dwindling populations of the reptiles with scruffy carapaces and skin as tough as rhino hide are facing an even greater threat: longer droughts spurred by climate change in their Sonoran Desert kingdom of arroyos and burrows, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
He (or she) was a tortoise, an enormous creature who spent his (or her) days meandering the desert. They were travelers, clogging the interstate as they headed east as the weekend came to an end. When their paths intersected, it didn't end well. On Sunday afternoon, which authorities describe as their rush hour on this stretch of Interstate 10 between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, a tortoise in the slow lane certainly caught drivers' attention. Shortly after 3 p.m., California Highway Patrol officials said they received dozens of calls from travelers, spotting (and dodging)
OPINION
September 27, 2013 | By Timothy Garton Ash
So the German people have spoken, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has been reelected. That means the European Union will continue to be a tortoise. Next May, following the European Parliament elections, we will discover just how slow and unhappy a creature it is. Then, across the next decade, a larger, Aesopian question will be posed: Can the European tortoise outrun the American eagle and the Chinese dragon? Or can it at least keep pace with them? Resounding though Mutti ("Mom") Merkel's election victory was, Germany's new government still has to be formed.
SCIENCE
July 8, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Forget the John Deere tractor: giant island tortoises make the best lawn mowers, according to a new study. In an effort to control the alien plants that had dominated a small island in the Indian Ocean for decades, scientists introduced two types of land tortoises. Round Island , a 529-acre island off the coast of Mauritius, has a long history of onslaught by invasive species. The island was overrun in the 1800s by rabbits and goats brought in by humans. The critters stripped the island bare, threatening a host of native reptiles and a substantial seabird colony.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
A surveillance drone is buzzing overhead. The booming of heavy artillery can be heard in the distance. On the desert floor, Thelma and Louise, the grand dames of the desert tortoise population at the massive Marine base at Twentynine Palms, are blissfully munching on their breakfast of mixed fruit and vegetable slices. At one time the two were the pets of a Marine general. But he deployed to Iraq, and there is no room in a combat rucksack for tortoises, despite their status as the state reptile of California.
OPINION
October 16, 2012
Should we save the desert tortoise, or plow over its habitat to build solar power plants that can help us save ourselves? It's a question that has arisen frequently in recent years as solar developers have flocked to California's Mojave Desert in search of generous federal incentives to turn the sun's heat into electricity, raising conflicts with conservationists and Native American tribes who think all this "progress" will ravage natural and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1988
I worry that your article will leave people with a bad impression of the raven. I have lived in Lancaster for 18 years. For the same amount of time I have been fascinated with the wildlife of the area. I can honestly say that the tortoise and raven are not the only species that are suffering because of man's greed and compulsion to build. The ravens are exceptional birds. They have been cursed with an undeserved reputation of being outlaws. They are accused of being bloodthirsty carnivores.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The sign outside Fred Caporaso's door lists his official title: professor of food science. And it's true that his research area is sensory evaluation, the science of how food tastes. But step inside, and it's clear that his heart never strays far from the Galapagos Islands. His cluttered desk and shelves are lined with tortoise trinkets and photos with him and his students, mementos from the 18 trips he has taken to the islands. The professor has become enamored with the islands made famous by Charles Darwin, and he has emerged as something of an authority - taking students each year and giving lectures nationwide about the creatures inhabiting the islands.
NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Craig Nakano
Obsession of the moment: Hasami porcelain plates and bowls released in a new matte black finish by the Japanese design importer TGS, or Tortoise General Store, in Venice. The Hasami porcelain is beautiful in its spare simplicity and smart function. The pieces nest nicely for storage. Optional oak lids pair well with the stone bowls and can be used separately as serving trays. TGS co-owner Keiko Shinomoto says  the collection has a nice back story too: It's part of a project in the southern Japanese town of Hasami, where a pottery tradition that dates to 1599 is ailing because of -- can you guess?
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