Lovely tortoises are gracefully eating as they enjoy the tranquility of their surrounding in a remote town of Mogotio in Kenya.
At this Tortoise farm, a worker is feeding the young reptiles as he looks forward to rearing them into well grown Tortoises. Some of the tortoises were rescued from the community though some of them were brought in with their shells already broken.
"Savannah Tortoise Farm is like a sanctuary, It has helped a lot of us in the village hence when we find stray tortoise, we bring it here," said Franklin, Sang a resident from Mogotio.
In a bid to work together with the community to conserve the tortoise, the government through the Kenya Wildlife Services gave Savannah Tortoise Farm the green-light to set up while also providing training to the workers at the farm. The community has also been able to peacefully undertake their crop farming.
"When we cultivate our crops mainly beans and sweat potatoes, the tortoise used to come and destroy them," said Sang.
Savannah Tortoise Farm is a brainchild of Samson Bungei who has turned it into an income generating venture and a tourist destination. The income is generated via tourist fees and selling the reptiles to persons who have already secured permits from the government.
The economic trickle down of setting up this tortoise farm has been evident with both employment being created and businesses being set up in this remote set up in Rift Valley.
The sanctuary has been in operation since 2020 and just like any other venture it has encountered numerous challenges with the major one being operational costs given that there are seasons when business is so low.
Currently the farm is home to over 200 tortoises but the owner has plans to expand the farm to accommodate more tortoises.