Endangered desert tortoises are learning the hard way that you never want your fate to rest in the hands of Big Government:
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.
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.
Housing never fully recovered, and the federal mitigation fee that developers pay has brought in just $290,000 during the past 11 months.
So now that they are closing down, developers get their money back, right? Just kidding.
[A]t the conservation center, a large refrigerator labeled “carcass freezer” hummed in the desert sun as 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.
Why not just let them all loose and let them find out for themselves whether they are fit to survive? Because Big Government takes it upon itself to make such decisions. Call it ObamaCare for tortoises.
By the way, one of the reasons the tortoises are classified as endangered is that their habitat is getting hogged up by ideologically inspired solar farms, no doubt built with coercive funding by the same ecofascistic federal Leviathan that will euthanize them. But good intentions are the important thing where environmentalism is concerned.
On a tip from David M. Hat tip: Kingsnake Blog.