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Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they've been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.
Nor the battle to the strong....
The Bureau of Land Management has paid for the holding and research facility with fees imposed on developers who disturb tortoise habitat on public land. As the housing boom swept through southern Nevada in the 2000s, the tortoise budget swelled. But when the recession hit, the housing market contracted, and the bureau and its local government partners began struggling to meet the center's $1 million annual budget.
"With the money going down and more and more tortoises coming in, it never would have added up," said BLM spokeswoman Hillerie Patton.
Back at the conservation center, scientists examined the facility's 1,400 inhabitants to find those hearty enough to release into the wild. Officials expect to euthanize more than half the animals in the coming months in preparation for closure at the end of 2014.
I can be outraged over people being thrown out of their homes because of bankers follies. I can seethe than none of the banksters are in jail for their frauds. Here, though, I feel no fury within. This is just something unspeakably sad.