“Tortoise Lady” and Her Tortoise Rescue Are Making a Difference in the UK

PetMD Editorial
Published: August 06, 2018
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Image via International Tortoise Association UK/Facebook

A woman in the United Kingdom has received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), which is given for outstanding service to the community, for her work in rescuing tortoises, turtles and terrapins.

Ann Ovenstone, who is also known as “The Tortoise Lady,” runs the International Tortoise Sanctuary in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan. 

As her website explains, “The sanctuary members work tirelessly to ensure the welfare of tortoises, including caring for the sick and injured, rehoming, events, breeding and hibernation programmes. All aspects of the tortoise life are undertaken at the sanctuary and the specialist expert knowledge of those involved ensures that all tortoises who are born, bred and live there receive the utmost in Chelonian care.”

According to BBC News, her sanctuary cares for over 354 Chelonia (the generic term for tortoises, terrapins and turtles). She also works with the UK Border Force to rehome Chelonia that are brought to the UK illegally.

The sanctuary is open to the public on Sundays and accepts volunteers to help care for all the Chelonian residents. During the winter months, they also look for volunteers to take in some of their residents for the duration of the hibernation period.

Ann Ovenstone and her organization aim to improve the overall care and awareness surrounding Chelonian species. They seek to help the sick and neglected while also increasing the public’s knowledge of proper care and welfare protocols for tortoises, turtles and terrapins. They also hope to stop the importation of tortoises from the wild through healthy captive breeding practices.

Video via BBC News

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