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Marines Have Permanently Relocated 900+ Endangered Turtles From Twentynine Palms

May 01, 2017

The Marine Corps has collected 929 Desert Tortoises, given them each a health assessment and moved them to another location in the Mojave Desert in order to train in the field without interruptions.

It was a difficult task that took almost two weeks and dozens of wildlife personnel to accomplish, but the Marine Corps now feels that the animals and the Marines will be better off for it. In the past, when a unit that was training in the field encountered one of the endangered tortoises, all training had to be ceased until a wildlife expert could arrive and rescue the animal, moving it safely to another location. The reason it could not be moved by one of the Marines is because the tortoise has a limited supply of water in its body, and would urinate when scared. This would cause it to become dehydrated, and could possibly kill it if it could not find water again.

This process became a huge logistical issue whenever it occurred, but commanders will not longer have to worry about it. While some tortoises may still be out there, they have for the most part been relocated to an area where they can be more frequently monitored.