A very bad, yet another, act of cruelty towards poor innocent creatures. It occurred in Northern Italy, precisely in Monza, in Lombardy. A land turtle and her five babies were thrown into a box outside a supermarket in the sun.
According to veterinarians and animal welfare organizations, the largest tortoise had tried to get out of the box, but had topple over and be trapped. A passer-by noticed the poor animals and took the box and took it to the headquarters of the Animal Protection Association.
According to the veterinarians, the adult female would be about 15 years old while the five babies not even a month old. The species would be Hermann's Tortoise. The adult turtle has been put together with other turtles, while the little ones will spend the winter in a terrarium to grow healthy.
The data refer to wild individuals, as some morphological factors, mainly the size and appearance of the shell, can be altered by the captive conditions during the development period. The species also shows considerable variability in relation to the habitat occupied, where it is influenced by factors such as humidity, solar radiation, water availability and the type and quantity of food resources present.
Palearctic species, it is present exclusively in southern Europe. The distribution range of this species extends from Spain to Romania including the major islands of the Mediterranean. Testudo hermanni and Emys orbicularis are the only native Italian species belonging to the order Testudines, Testudo graeca, Testudo marginata and Trachemys scripta are species introduced due to their trade and use as pets.
T. hermanni runs the risk of disappearing from the natural environment especially due to anthropogenic factors such as mechanized agriculture and the use of pesticides, car traffic, fires, destruction of the natural environment and urbanization, illegal trapping and predation by wild animals.
The capture for human food purposes seems to have completely disappeared in Italy. For some years the ban on the capture of individuals in the wild has pushed more and more enthusiasts to devote themselves to the breeding of the various species of Testudo and currently the individuals raised far exceed the number of wild ones.
However, the efforts of farmers are being thwarted by national legislation that has not yet taken note of this new reality.