Giant tortoise mauled in Tahiti

4:57 pm on 12 January 2018

There is dismay in French Polynesia over the fatal mauling of a giant tortoise from the Galapagos islands.

Animal close-up photography.  giant turtle walking on green grass.

Animal close-up photography. giant turtle walking on green grass. Photo: askoldsb/123RF

The tortoise, named Te ara tau, had been brought to Tahiti in 1929 and was kept in an enclosed garden in Papeari.

Te ara tau was severely injured in an attack by stray dogs which managed to break into the enclosure at night.

A veterinarian, who unsuccessfully tried to save its life, has put the blame for the incident on people who fail to care for their dogs.

The second Galapagos Tortoise in the park was injured but survived the attack.

The two tortoises had previously been attacked and injured by stray dogs nine years ago.

The French Polynesian government has reacted to the incident, saying a complaint will be lodged so that an inquiry can try and establish who was responsible.

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