Many people believe that they have bad neighbors. They may have loud parties, block their neighbor’s driveway, neglect their homes, making them an eyesore, or are just rude and insensitive. There is one house in a small Madagascar village that made all of the neighbors mad.
At first, the residents in the neighborhood smelled something strange. They couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from, even though it was suffocating the entire area. As the smell got worse and worse, neighbors banned together to figure out where the smell was coming from. Finally, they realized that it was coming from an abandoned house. The neighbors didn’t know what to do at first. They could illegally enter the home, but due to the smell, they were worried about what they would find. They didn’t want to bother the police, because they had emergencies to worry about. After a few days, the neighbors realized that the house might not be vacant. Many of them witnessed people coming and going from the house. Soon, the smell dissipated.
The Smell Returns
Just when the neighborhood started to smell fresh again, the smell came back. The neighbors had a meeting to discuss the problem themselves. Finally, they decided to call the police. They told the officers about the smell and how it was becoming a significant concern.
The police agreed to investigate, and they brought along a few of the neighbors to help guide them around the property. They had no idea where the smell was coming from, so they brought in a medical examiner, a wildlife expert, and a few others who they thought could help. One of the people involved in the investigation was Soary Randrianjafizanaka. She is a member of the wildlife committee, and the police felt that they might need her help if the smell was animal-related. When her agency got the call, she offered to accompany the officers because her home was in the same neighborhood.
The house was located in Toliara, which is on the southwest coast of Madagascar. The town is beautiful and peaceful, and there is never any real trouble. This is why the police had a hard time believing that there was foul play going on in the house. Because everyone in the neighborhood was worried, the police agreed to check it out, not expecting anything too serious.
Arriving At the House
When the team arrived at the house, they smelled the pungent stench immediately, but nobody could put their finger on what it could be. Soary had no idea what to expect. She had never smelled anything like it. Other than the horrible smell, the home looked ordinary. As the police and the rest of the team entered the house, the smell got so strong that many of them became lightheaded. Soary thought that it could be animal waste, but she wasn’t sure. When they got inside, they realized that based on the condition of the home, nobody was living there. They all knew that they would need to investigate further to find the source of the smell.
A Loud Noise
While the group made their way through the house, they heard a noise that stopped them in their tracks. Now, everyone was on their guard. There were other people on the property. When the team came face-to-face with the people on the property, they were holding shovels and digging holes. This was unexpected. Not only was the house not abandoned, but the people there were digging holes. When the police began asking questions, the people in the house started acting strangely and started trying to hide something. When they stopped and put their hands up in surrender, the police arrested them.
After taking the people in the house into custody, the team continued to search for the source of the smell. They opened the door to a room, and the entire floor was covered with tortoises. They were packed in like sardines. Soary realized that these weren’t ordinary tortoises. As they made their way through the house, they found that every room was covered with the shelled creatures. Many were on the brink of death due to poor care.
A Rare Species
Soary realized that the tortoises were a rare species called radiated tortoises. They have unique markings on their shells and are very docile in nature. They are rarely spotted in the wild, and very few have made Madagascar their home. Because they are so rare, they are often poached by criminals. People even eat them as a delicacy. Keeping them is against the law, and selling them is illegal.
Transporting the Tortoises
Many of the tortoises were very ill due to dehydration and starvation. The team had to get the tortoises out of the house and to safety. Because there were over 9,000 tortoises in the house, it wasn’t going to be easy. They managed to save around 8,000 turtles, but they didn’t know what to do with them. They weren’t ready to go back to the wild, and the facility wasn’t equipped to handle so many tortoises. Since they lived most of their lives in the house, they would never survive in the wild. They found a place for them to go, where they get food, water, and plenty of attention. The people at the house who were arrested were punished to the fullest extent of the law. Most received lengthy prison sentences for their crimes. The cops called to investigate smell from abandoned house didn’t expect to find this. Fortunately, they found the tortoises in time.