Tortoise breeding may not be a regular entrepreneurial idea, but that hasn’t stopped Dolor Ernesta, a local Seychelles entrepreneur, who is making plans to set up a tortoise sanctuary.
As well as having a lifetime of love for tortoises, Dolor has been breeding them for the past 23 years. He began caring for them in 1994, but only got a breeding license five years ago in order to start his breeding business.
He told the Seychelles News Agency: “I have tortoises from 1 to 100 years old. I also have eggs which have not hatched and many people have never seen tortoise eggs. I also have their skeletal remains, so why not display all of these in a sort of museum, as part of a sanctuary for these gentle species?”
Dolor said that his refuge will have an educational purpose too, which will help to raise awareness about the protection and conservation of these tortoises. He added that visitors will have the chance to interact with the tortoises at the sanctuary, .
Dolor has spoken to a zoo in the Netherlands where he has in the past sent small tortoises. He is targeting only zoos for exportation to ensure that the tortoises are not trafficked but instead used for conservation and educational purposes.
“There is only about four or five of us who are currently breeding tortoises for exportation and I have good knowledge about these species in terms of their life cycle. I am also thinking of modernising my facilities and in the process of getting a proper incubator, to facilitate the hatchlings,” said Dolor.