Tragedy Befalls TSA’s Tortoise Conservation Center in Madagascar

For Immediate Release

September 28, 2019

Tsihombe, Madagascar – Tragedy has struck the TSA’s Tortoise Conservation Center (TCC), the lynchpin of TSA’s efforts to prevent the extinction of the Radiated Tortoise from the wilds of Madagascar. Early Thursday morning, a fire broke out in the main office and living quarters of our senior staff there. With staff unable to control it, the fire consumed the entirety of the facility’s insides. With it, the Tortoise Conservation Center rapidly lost its entire solar power grid and distribution system, computers and printers, security system, tortoise records, and staff living space and personal items. It’s believed that the fire was of an electrical nature, triggered by wiring in an upstairs bedroom, however, an investigation is underway. The epicenter of activity for this crucial center is now lost, and four senior staff members are homeless. For now, the displaced staff will reside at the TCC’s hospital, while actively working to restore internet and communication capabilities.

As this devastating fire has left the TCC in a vulnerable and incomplete state of operations, time is of the essence for rebuilding infrastructure, restoring security and communication capabilities, and ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and the roughly 9,000 tortoises who reside on the center‚Äôs grounds. Aside from our newly upgraded facility for confiscated tortoises in Lavavolo, and our headquarters in Antananarivo, the TCC is key to implementing TSA‚Äôs ‚ÄúConfiscation to Reintroduction Strategy,‚Äù a comprehensive plan to reintroduce these endangered tortoises into the wild.

Within the week, TSA President Rick Hudson will travel to Madagascar to assess the damage and coordinate its rebuilding plan. The TSA estimates the cost of restoring the facility and its essential components to be ~ $45,000. To assist with this tragedy and its rapid recovery effort, please consider making a DONATION TODAY.

For more information, or to find out how you or your organization can assist, please contact Rick Hudson at and Andrew Walde at


TSA (Turtle Survival Alliance)

Turtle Survival Alliance is a non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. Since its formation in 2001, TSA has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. With its commitment to "zero turtle extinctions," TSA transforms passion for turtles into effective conservation action through: (1) restoring populations in the wild where possible; (2) securing endangered species in captivity through assurance colonies; and (3) building the capacity to restore, secure, and conserve species within their range countries. In addition to the Turtle Survival Center in South Carolina, TSA manages collaborative turtle conservation programs in 15 diversity hotspots around the world. For more information, visit:;;; @turtlesurvival on Twitter.