Richard Branson's Necker Island is not only a refuge for his family and legions of famous guests, but also for species facing dire threats elsewhere in the world.
The 63-year-old, already giving shelter to the endangered Madagascar lemur and over 140 other different species, has recently added two species of critically endangered tortoises - the Burmese Star Tortoise and the Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise.
"The new arrivals will join our existing herd of giant Indian Ocean Aldabra Tortoises and Red Footed Tortoises on Necker, and we’re sure the rest of the animals, from the parrots to the lemurs, will make them more than welcome," he writes on his blog.
Under the guidance of the Turtle Conservancy, which bred and transported the tortoises to Necker, Branson's Wildlife Conservation Manager built large open-air paddocks to house them in. The idea is that once they're of age, the tortoises will be moved to their native lands. The Turtle Conservancy is hopeful that should these two species thrive, Necker Island will become a breeding colony for additional threatened tortoises.
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