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American Tortoise Rescue co-founder Susan Tellem holds two of the female spotted turtles the nonprofit took in this summer. The turtles reportedly were being smuggled to China before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized them and brought them to the Malibu rescue. Photos by Lauren Coughlin/22nd Century Media
Susan Tellem, co-founder of American Tortoise Rescue, holds two Eastern box turtles that were given to the nonprofit by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Los Angeles after the agency shut down a wildlife smuggling operation.
Some of the wildlife trafficking victims are primarily kept indoors for closer monitoring while 10 larger ones, including this Eastern box turtle, are given free roam of enclosed habitats on the Malibu nonprofit’s property.
The newcomers are numbered to allow ATR to keep track of each individual’s eating habits and more.
Lauren Coughlin, Editor
11:00 am PDT October 4, 2018
It takes two passionate hearts to run the Malibu-based American Tortoise Rescue. When eyeing the expansive array of more than 100 turtles that reside at the home of Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, the husband-and-wife duo behind ATR, it’s hard to believe that that’s all it takes — well, that and roughly 1,000 superworms a week.