Hundreds of Desert Tortoises to be Euthanized as Conservation Center Funds Run Dry

First Posted: Aug 26, 2013 09:45 AM EDT

Desert tortoises in the Nevada Facility have a dismal future as Federal funds have run dry and officials are considering euthanization

They have adapted to their surrounding and survived the area's transition into a desert. Due to the cruel acts of humans over the past few decades, the resilient creature is listed as a threatened species.

Officials have spent a great amount of time, effort and funds to ensure the safety of these ancient animals.  Wildlife officials set up a sprawling conservation reserve site just outside Las Vegas for these animals.

But now these pampered ancient creatures are facing a new threat, the government has decided to close the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center due to a paucity of funds and these tortoises will now be put to sleep.

The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center has been running out of federal funds and they plan to shut the site and euthanize hundreds of desert tortoise that were nurtured there since they were declared endangered in 1990.

The animal conservation area that spans across 200-acre has stopped accepting new animals and those that arrived in the fall will be also be put down, source Associated Press.

The Bureau of Land Management paid for the holding as well as the research facility. Apart from this, they imposed heavy fines on those developers who attempted to destroy the habitat of the desert tortoise on any public land. In the 2000s, as Nevada experienced a housing boom, the tortoise budget also increased. With recession the housing market sank and since then local government partners and the bureau are battling to meet the $1 million annual budget of the center, reports  HNGN.

In the past 11 months, just $290,000 has been accumulated by the federal mitigation fee that developers pay. "With the money going down and more and more tortoises coming in, it never would have added up," BLM spokeswoman Hillerie Patton concluded.

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