On Aug. 25, the desert tortoise, a dying breed, is reportedly going to become an even more endangered species than ever before. The reason is due to the fact that the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center is set to close next year.
According to the Associated Press via the Washington Post, there's a lot of irony here because even though the slow moving creature, said to date back 200 million years, made the endangered species list more than two decades ago, hundreds of this particular hard-shelled, exotic animal are going to be euthanized.
How can that be?
Well, because of a budgetary failure leading to the imminent closure of the very facility that houses and cares for these critters, half of the 220-acre Desert Tortoise Conservation Center's 1,400 residents will have to be put down. The ones chosen to be euthanized are the ones who are not able to make it on their own in the wild, which is going to be the case for the rest of these desert tortoises once the refuse shutters in 2014.
"It’s the lesser of two evils, but it's still evil," comments Roy Averill-Murray, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service desert tortoise recovery coordinator.
And so, even though the desert tortoise is endangered, hundreds of them are about to be killed because their refuse, a conservation center located near Las Vegas dedicated to keeping this species alive, is closing. And that's what you call a sad, sad situation.