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1 October 2011 Health Checks of Rehabilitated Leopard Tortoise, Stigmochelys pardalis, before Release into the Wild
K. Wimberger, A.J. Armstrong, M. Penning
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Abstract

The release of tortoises after confinement and treatment in rehabilitation centres includes the risk that released individuals may infect wild conspecifics with foreign parasites and other pathogens. The recent monitoring of the release of rehabilitated leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) onto private land in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, revealed that the health-checking protocol at the wildlife rehabilitation centre was inadequate. As a result the provincial conservation authority placed a moratorium on further leopard tortoise releases until a comprehensive health-checking protocol was in place. This protocol is detailed here to ensure the success of the release of confiscated and rehabilitated leopard tortoises, and that this does not come at cost to the wild leopard tortoise populations.

K. Wimberger, A.J. Armstrong, and M. Penning "Health Checks of Rehabilitated Leopard Tortoise, Stigmochelys pardalis, before Release into the Wild," South African Journal of Wildlife Research 41(2), 229-235, (1 October 2011). https://doi.org/10.3957/056.041.0212
Received: 2 August 2011; Accepted: 1 November 2011; Published: 1 October 2011
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KEYWORDS
health-checking protocol
leopard tortoise
rehabilitation release
Stigmochelys pardalis
tortoise diseases
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