LEE DURRELL
BBC Wildlife|March 2021
In our series about people with a passion for a species, we ask naturalist, author and TV presenter Lee why she adores the ploughshare tortoise.
Ben Hoare
How did you fall in love with ploughshare tortoises?

In the 1980s, the then Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (now Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) launched a recovery programme for this gravely threatened species. Gerald [Lee’s late husband] asked me to set up a breeding facility, as I had lived in Madagascar. I’d never actually seen a ploughshare (or angonoka), but it was love at first sight. The tortoises would let you stroke their heads and soft, wrinkled necks as they raised themselves high off the ground like a Citroën rising on its suspension.

Do you think the species is finally safe?

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