The Turtle Conservancy is a non-profit that homes and conserves threatened species of tortoises and turtles. While they’re typically not open to the public, they are now offering 90-minute guided tours via a partnership with the Ojai Valley Inn.
The Turtle Conservancy has been open in its California location since 2005, and is one of two such organizations in the world. They breed 32 different species of tortoises and turtles, 12 of which are considered highly endangered. In 2017, they were able to hatch 153 baby reptiles and release another 3,036 in the U.S., in addition to global conservation efforts.
The tours will allow guests to learn about the Conservancy and the work they do, as well as meet a variety of turtles and tortoises. If you’ve ever wanted to feed some veggies to a 400 lb. Galapagos Tortoise, this would be your chance.
Tickets are $200 for adults and $50 for children 12 and under, and include a hat, stickers, and literature. They must be booked through the Ojai Valley Inn 72 hours in advance.
Though pricy, the proceeds will benefit the Turtle Conservancy’s work. That’s a lot of carrots, sure, but it’ll also help them with conservation efforts and dealing with the aftermath of the Thomas wildfire. According to a video posted by the nonprofit, they were forced to evacuate all of their animals to Atascadero City Hall basement for five days. Though the Conservancy itself was spared from the flames, toxic ash and debris were an issue. The Conservancy was fundraising earlier this year for repairs, clean water, air filters, fire breaks, and evacuation costs.