If you are tired of your nosy neighbors, you better have another thought coming! We are about to tell you what neighbors in a small Madagascar town had to go through. Their troubles began with a strange smell that permeated the air across the settlement.
Everybody could smell it, and the more they tried to ignore it, the worse it got. They pinpointed a vacant house as the source of this foul smell. Finally, they decided that something was wrong because they could no longer disregard it. It was time to call in the experts. They would check the property and figure out what was causing this odor. No one knew what to expect, but what they found inside the house still came as a huge shock.
Here are the details of this riveting story.
They Searched Far and Wide for The Source of The Smell
It had grown so strong that everyone in the area was beginning to feel suffocated. No one wanted to be rude to others who lived there, so they kept quiet for as long as possible. But soon, enough was enough. When the town’s residents could no longer contain their disgust for the smell, they went out looking for its source, hoping to fix it ASAP.
They formed a team that combed through the entire town, house by house and street by street to locate where the smell was coming from. Finally, they came to a stop in front of an old, abandoned house. This was it. The foul odor was the strongest here, so there was no denying the fact that this was the source.
The Townspeople Started Looking For Solutions
The problem was that no one lived in that house, so the neighbors couldn’t just knock on the door and go inside to inspect it. Someone had to break into the abandoned home to find out what was happened there to cause the stench. However, they couldn’t be sure what kind of trouble awaited them inside, so they stayed out.
Still, something had to be done. They considered calling the police, but it seemed to silly an issue to bother the police. Some neighborhoods also suggested reporting the house as overrun to the city, but then they saw something that stopped them dead in their tracks.
The Property Wasn’t Vacant After All
The locals hadn’t seen live this run-down property for many years now, so it was only natural for them to presume that it was empty. But they were keeping a close eye on it anyway, to figure out a solution to this odor problem.
They spotted some people visiting the property and spending a lot of time in there. No one could believe it! While the locals had trouble going near that house, others were regularly visiting it. But before they could do something about it, the smell disappeared.
Everyone forgot about it and went on with their lives, glad that the ordeal was over. Unbeknownst to them, their troubles were just starting.
Soon It All Began Again
Just when everyone had forgotten about it, the stench came back in full force. This time around, the neighbors didn’t waste any time and called in an emergency meeting to find answers once and for all.
They headed straight to that old abandoned house where their suspicions were confirmed. Again, the stench was coming from there. This time they decided to call the police for immediate action.
However, they knew that they couldn’t intrude by themselves, so they decided it was time to call the police. They told the officers that the smell was beginning to concern them, and the officers had an idea what it might be.
The Investigations Began
The townspeople called the police and explained the entire situation. They told them about the last time it happened, and how they traced the smell back to this old house. The officers had a reasonably good idea of what they were dealing with, so they decided to investigate the house. They enlisted the help of some locals to guide them to the area around the property.
Since they didn’t want to get caught off-guard, the officers decided to bring in a team of specialists. There were wildlife experts and medical examiners there as well. No one had any idea what was going down, but everyone was sure that this weird smell had to be stopped.
The Local Environment Experts Were On Standby
Soary Randrianjafizanaka, head of the local Environmental Agency, also tagged along with the police team of specialists. By now, it was apparent to the police that they were dealing with some animal infestation, and that is why they decided to bring an expert along.
Besides, Randrianjafizanaka lived in the vicinity of this building, so she was curious about the stench too. But neither she nor the police officers could have predicted what they would see inside once they broke in.
The City Of Toliara Gets Global Attention
All of this was happening in Toliara, a city on the southwest coast of Madagascar. The area is regarded as being extraordinarily beautiful and quiet peaceful. The people of this small city co-exist together peacefully, and there haven’t been any problematic incidents here in many years.
The city’s reputation for harmony made it all the more difficult for law enforcement officials to believe that something sinister might be happening in that house. They were confident that some animal squatters had taken up residence in there, and that was the cause of the stench.
The truth was far more twisted than that.
Madagascar’s Environmental Agency Already Had Their Hands Full
Madagascar is home to some of the most diverse animal species that are found only here. Nearly 95 percent of the reptiles and 92 percent of the mammals here exist nowhere else on the planet. So naturally, the local EA has seen more than its fair share of violent incidents involving animals.
That’s why anytime anything out-of-the-ordinary happens here; everyone suspects it’s some local animal wreaking havoc. And usually, they are right. That’s why the police always have an official from the Environmental Agency accompany them on such missions.
There Was Nothing Unusual About The House… At First
The police and their team of specialists inspected the exteriors of that house. It seemed relatively normal. The doors and the windows were boarded up, and the atrocious smell was at its strongest here. But other than that, everything seemed fine.
It was a large and spacious, two-story house, but no one had lived here in years, according to the locals. Everyone wondered why no one had wanted to make it their home, because despite being quite old, the house was in a rescue-able condition. So why did no one want to live here?
Raiding The House With The Rancid Stench
Once the team had assembled at the location and studied the exteriors, they still couldn’t find the source of the smell. They couldn’t tell what was causing it. Randrianjafizanaka was beside herself as to what it could be. No other option was left; they had to go in.
This was a truly unique situation, and neither the experts, not the police, knew how it would end. Neither she nor her team had ever smelled anything quite like what was coming out of the house. But now it was time to take a closer look, and they were ready.
Getting Ready To Enter Unknown Territory
The team entered the house with a resolve to find where the smell was coming from. But as soon as they crossed the threshold, the stench hit them so hard that some had to turn back immediately. Many others became light-headed because they could no longer breathe properly.
Some members of the team, along with Randrianjafizanaka and the policemen, braved on. They ventured deeper into the property. Randrianjafizanaka’s sixth sense was telling her that they were dealing with a massive amount of animal waste. But just what kind of animal would hide in private property, and how could it defecate so much to cause discomfort to an entire town?
It Was Time To Get Some Answers
The further along they went, the more certain Randrianjafizanaka became that they were dealing with animal-related problems. But they couldn’t see anything unusual except for the filth and dirt that covered the floor. They also couldn’t be sure if there may have been people in the house.
Entering the house had given rise to more questions than before. Was there a big, feral cat trapped in this apartment, causing such a horrid stench? Where was this animal hiding? Were there any people living there? How could they survive in these disgusting conditions?
They Heard Something Move Nearby
Suddenly, everyone went on guard. There was a noise, and even though it wasn’t loud, everyone heard it. They were sure now that they weren’t alone in this house. They were alert and started moving faster across the house.
Just as they turned a corner, they came across some people who were just as shocked to see them. Staring them in the face was the answer to one of their questions: yes, people were living here. The police, as well as the experts, ended up more confused than before.
The Strangers Were Digging Holes
When the police party finally realized that they had stumbled upon a potential clue, they took in the surroundings to figure out what those people were doing inside the house. They had shovels in their hands, and they were busy digging through the floor.
The team was stunned, and they didn’t know what to make off it. All their theories and speculations had just gone out of the window. The house was not abandoned as they had believed earlier. It was time to ask some questions.
They Were Up To Something Sinister
The police surrounded these strange men immediately and asked them to put the shovels away. Then they were asked what they were doing with the shovels in the first place. Those men started behaving strangely as if they could no longer speak or understand the language.
They were trying to hide something, and the police officers could see right through their façade. Even though no one had any idea about what charges to bring on the diggers, everyone agreed that it was time to put them in custody.
They Diggers Were In Trouble
As soon as the police moved in on them, the men quickly put their hands up in the air. They were willing to cooperate now that they were sure that there was no other way out for them. They were behaving like they were guilty, and that was all the reason the police needed to arrest them.
Once these men were arrested and secured according to the code of law, the police took them back out and sent them to the station. All the while, the team of experts took a break from the weirdness they just saw. However, there was no time to rest as they were no closer to the answer to their question.
They Saw The Floor Moving
The team reassembled with fresh enthusiasm and went back inside to examine the digging area and if the diggers were hiding anything. It was evident that the interior of the house had been destroyed. It was falling apart, none of the light fixtures worked, the windows were boarded up, and the ceilings were covered in cobwebs.
They were still looking at the holes dug in the floor and trying to figure out how it all connected with the foul stench in the home when something mysterious happened. Unbelievably, the floor had started moving in some regions of the house. At first, they were startled until they finally realized what they were looking at.
It Was A Tortoise Invasion
It seemed as if the floor was made of tortoises! But they were packed in the rooms like sardines. There were so many of them that it seemed as if the entire floor was made of tortoise shells. The teams, as well as the police officers, were dumbfounded.
Randrianjafizanaka quickly sprang into action to do her job. She promptly inspected several tortoises to realize that these were no ordinary tortoises. No one had a clue how so many had ended up in there and where they had come from. It was hard to walk through the rest of the house because there were so many of them everywhere.
They Desperately Needed Help
Randrianjafizanaka called back to her offices to get immediate help for the tortoises. She needed to get them out of there, cleaned up, and relocated to a safe spot quickly. These animals had been living in filth for God knows how long. This horrendous treatment had to end stat.
They had been squashed together, living in the dark and in such horrible conditions. Randrianjafizanaka did not doubt that some of these tortoises were already dead, and many others were barely holding on to dear life. Every second that the tortoises remained inside would add to their misery.
It Turns Out That The Tortoises Were A Rare Species
Randrianjafizanaka knew the second she laid her eyes on them, that she had something special at her hands, and she was right. These were a rare species known as Radiated Tortoises. Only a few of them were left in Madagascar, and they were very rarely spotted in the wild.
Radiated tortoises get their name from the unique designs and markings on their shell. They are known for their docile nature. Randrianjafizanaka and the police officers were now beginning to put the picture together.
This Was A Case of Animal Poaching
These creatures are scarce and only found in some parts of Madagascar. But because of their beauty, they are in high demand the world over. That’s why criminals (like those men they had arrested) poach them, i.e., steal them and sell them off to the highest bidder.
People who eat them or keep them as pets, either way, it’s illegal to buy and sell these rare tortoises. However, that doesn’t stop the locals from making money by illegally selling them. That’s why the special is almost extinct at this point.
There are a lot of underground operations that involve stealing the tortoises and illegally selling them. At this point, the species is almost extinct because of how they are treated. This instance was especially heinous.
Radiated Tortoises Are Endangered
There was a time when the world hadn’t discovered Madagascar’s Radiated Tortoises, and the species was thriving. In the 1990s, there were estimated to be around 12 million tortoises in the wild. But by 2010 the number had dropped well below 6 million.
That’s why discovering this hideout was such a surprise to the authorities. No one could have dreamt they’d find so many of these creatures in such huge numbers. It turns out that more than 9000 turtles had been crammed into that small home.
An Unprecedented Rescue Effort Began
Now Randrianjafizanaka and her team had the monumental task of relocating thousands of tortoises. They were happy to have recovered so many and saved them from poaching. But many of them were sickly and needed a lot of care while being transported to a safe and secure place.
They were glad to have found so many and were now hopeful that these tortoises would breed in captivity and help increase the population numbers. But their trials weren’t over yet.
More Bad News Comes Their Way
It was soon discovered that many of the rescued tortoises wouldn’t even make it to the end of the week as they were severely ill.
These poor creatures were severely dehydrated, and though the vets from the Environmental Agency were doing their best to save the tortoises, many couldn’t make it. There simply weren’t enough resources to attend to thousands of tortoises at the same time.
The Neighbors Couldn’t Believe It What They Saw
The locals had spent a lot of time and energy finding the source of the smell, but they couldn’t believe that they had nearly 10,000 tortoises as their neighbors and they never knew.
Had these excellent Samaritans never called the police about their problem, the poachers would likely have gotten away with it. Many local activists made it their duty to raise awareness about the animals that are mistreated as the tortoises were.
Animal Cruelty Happens More Often Than We Care To Admit
Time and again, people are arrested and charged for animal cruelty, and yet it continues to happen every day. We hear horror stories of cruelty against animals from all over the world. The human desire for more money makes many forget that animals feel pain, too, and they deserve to be treated kindly.
Unfortunately, the pet industry is a huge culprit as well. That’s why many people are calling for its reform. Many pet sellers keep the animals in terrible conditions and even have breeding businesses that subject the animal to horrific pain.
What Happens to The Tortoises
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of local vets, nearly 8000 tortoises survived the situation. Now it was time to figure out what to do with them because they couldn’t be released into the wild and there weren’t any facilities big enough to home all 8000 of them.
But the animals had been through a lot and survived through hellish conditions. Everyone just wanted them to be safe, healthy, and comfortable. They had to come up with a plan.
Ensuring A Safe And Happy Life For The Tortoises
The locals built a conservation center to house the clients. Here they would live out their lives safe from poachers and with plenty of food and water. There’s a dedicated team of conservationists working with them, giving them all the love and attention they need.
Things are definitely looking up for this group of tortoises and many others all over Madagascar.
The Punishment for the Crime
Several men and a woman were arrested from that house and charged with illegally hoarding an endangered species. They were also animal abusers who deserved an appropriate punishment.
They were brought to the court to be tried for their crimes. The judge made an example of these poachers to set a precedent and give a clear message to anyone else involved in such activities. Now, they are serving long prison sentences, so they may understand what it’s like to be held against their will in a small space.