Click Here for Articles About 60 MINUTES

CBS's 60 MINUTES to Report on Madagascar Tortoise Poachers, 12/9

Related Links
Scoop: DANCING WITH THE STARS on ABC - Monday, November 3, 2014Scoop: DANCING WITH THE STARS on ABC - Monday, November 3, 2014
October 30, 2014
CBS Wins Week in Viewers and Key Demos Against World SeriesCBS Wins Week in Viewers and Key Demos Against World Series
October 28, 2014
CBS's 60 MINUTES Makes Top for 2nd Time in Four WeeksCBS's 60 MINUTES Makes Top for 2nd Time in Four Weeks
October 28, 2014
BWW Recap: Thanks for the Memories; GRIMM is Back!BWW Recap: Thanks for the Memories; GRIMM is Back!
October 25, 2014
Related: 60 MINUTES, CBS

The golden, helmet-shaped shell of the plowshare tortoise makes it one of nature’s most beautiful animals. But that shell is also one of the main reasons the reptile has become one of nature’s most endangered species: people are willing to pay up to $60,000 dollars or more for one of the rare animals. Lesley Stahl travels to Madagascar to report on efforts to save these ancient reptiles by any means necessary, including defacing its stunning shell. Her report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Dec. 9 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Eric Goode spends about a million dollars a year to save tortoises and turtles in places like Madagascar, where he says numbers of plowshare tortoises in the wild may be down to just 300. Some Asians believe the creatures, which can live well over 100 years, bring long life to their owner. The coloring of the shell is also coveted. “Asian countries love gold and this is a gold tortoise. And so, literally, these are like gold bricks that one can pick up and sell.”

Goode, a well-known New Yorker who owns bars, restaurants and hotels there, and the British conservation group, The Durrell Wildlife Trust, have hired locals in Madagascar to find plowshares before poachers can get to them. Once they are found, Goode and his colleagues are taking the unusual step of defacing the shells.

“It’s painful to watch,” says Stahl to Goode, as a worker drills lines on the shell that does not harm the tortoise but could make it worthless to a poacher. “It’s too soon to know if [defacing] is working,” says Goode. “It breaks your heart to have to do that to this beautiful, beautiful shell…You can compare it maybe to chain sawing off a rhinoceros’ horn to save a rhino,” he tells Stahl.

Around the world, entire species of animals go extinct each year, and much of Madagascar’s unique wildlife is at risk because of the illegal animal trade and logging and agriculture that have wiped out as much as 90 percent of the island’s native forests. Still, 60 MINUTES cameras captured a wide variety of exotic animals in Madagascar, known for its one-of-a-kind flora and fauna.

For now, the tortoises and turtles have Goode to watch over them and help to keep their species, 200 million years old, alive for the ages. In Madagascar, he and his partners at the Durrell conservation group are protecting and breeding plowshares at a heavily guarded sanctuary. And from the looks of it, there will almost definitely be more plowshare tortoises around the sanctuary soon: Stahl and her camera crew were lucky enough to see a young- to-middle-aged plowshare (in the neighborhood of 100 years old) laying eggs. “This is what you work for and even more so when the little tortoise, when the hatchling comes out… you feel like you’ve broken a secret code,” Goode tells Stahl. Watch a clip here!

Spoiler Alert! Recap and Review: THE VOICE Knockout Rounds Night One 10/27; Full Results!Spoiler Alert!: THE VOICE Knockout Rounds Night One; Full Results and Reviews! But, Wait! What? Halloween Edition: BroadwayWorld's Sally Henry Counts Down Top-10 Scariest Movie Musicals
But, Wait! What? BWW's Sally Henry Counts Down Top-10 Scariest Movie Musicals
dotted line
But, Wait! What's On TV Tonight? Thursday, October 30th: It's the Great Pumpkin, BWW! 8:00pm: IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN | ABC

9:00pm: SCANDAL | ABC


Click for more picks!

Become a Fan, Follower & Subscriber