Unique bloodlines?

PA2019

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Gainesville, FL
I have been researching the history of egyptian tortoises in the USA over the past few months, speaking with established Egyptian breeders and thought I would reach out on TFO searching for further information as to how many unique bloodlines exist here in the USA.

It seems that most if not all imports in the 80-90's died off due to poor husbandry information/terrible shipping conditions.

An early shipment off kleinmanni was initially divided up between several key early breeders of Egyptian tortoises including Dan Wolf, John Coakley and several others. From those WC groups, we have what is the majority of CB Egyptians produced in the US. Other established bloodlines such as Abbots (from Abbots Turtle Farm) or Dan Mckinnen (aka Egyptian Dan) are most likely offshoots of those early breeders as they both purchased founding animals from the original import group that survived and reproduced.

I have been told there still may be other unique bloodlines out there (Moorpark Zoo comes to mind, possibly those produced by Jerry Fife) but information/records from that period is really hard to track down. I am tagging some of the "OG" tortoise community members and some of the breeders who post regularly on here in the hopes it may stir up memories, names or places that had founding animals that produced offspring at one point.

@zovick @dovelett15 @Tim/Robin @[email protected] @GBtortoises @billskleins @tortadise @Kapidolo Farms @G-stars @HermanniChris

If you would prefer to discuss privately, [email protected], thanks.
 

dovelett15

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5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
99
I have been researching the history of egyptian tortoises in the USA over the past few months, speaking with established Egyptian breeders and thought I would reach out on TFO searching for further information as to how many unique bloodlines exist here in the USA.

It seems that most if not all imports in the 80-90's died off due to poor husbandry information/terrible shipping conditions.

An early shipment off kleinmanni was initially divided up between several key early breeders of Egyptian tortoises including Dan Wolf, John Coakley and several others. From those WC groups, we have what is the majority of CB Egyptians produced in the US. Other established bloodlines such as Abbots (from Abbots Turtle Farm) or Dan Mckinnen (aka Egyptian Dan) are most likely offshoots of those early breeders as they both purchased founding animals from the original import group that survived and reproduced.

I have been told there still may be other unique bloodlines out there (Moorpark Zoo comes to mind, possibly those produced by Jerry Fife) but information/records from that period is really hard to track down. I am tagging some of the "OG" tortoise community members and some of the breeders who post regularly on here in the hopes it may stir up memories, names or places that had founding animals that produced offspring at one point.

@zovick @dovelett15 @Tim/Robin @[email protected] @GBtortoises @billskleins @tortadise @Kapidolo Farms @G-stars @HermanniChris

If you would prefer to discuss privately, [email protected], thanks.




Bob Thomas from California had a large established founding group.
 

zovick

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1,665
Bob Thomas from California had a large established founding group.
I purchased a group of about 25 WC imports in 1994-95. I sent about 10 of them to Jeff Gee in AZ and donated about 15 of them to the Bronx Zoo. I do not know if Jeff Gee ever sold any of the ones I sent him or not. Another person some years later told me that a number of them were killed by Jeff's guard dog(s).
 

PA2019

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Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
328
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Thanks to all who have contributed thus far. It is truly shocking how few survived out of the hundreds upon hundreds that originally arrived.

So far there seems to be 4 established founding groups who’s lineage have survived to this day if you ignore the Bronx Zoo group. @zovick did the zoo ever produce offspring that you know of, or release any to the public?

Another possible source of unrelated stock is the Behler Center. I’ve heard they released animals to the general public in the past, I wonder if they know the origins of their kleinmanni group.
 

zovick

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5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,665
Thanks to all who have contributed thus far. It is truly shocking how few survived out of the hundreds upon hundreds that originally arrived.

So far there seems to be 4 established founding groups who’s lineage have survived to this day if you ignore the Bronx Zoo group. @zovick did the zoo ever produce offspring that you know of, or release any to the public?

Another possible source of unrelated stock is the Behler Center. I’ve heard they released animals to the general public in the past, I wonder if they know the origins of their kleinmanni group.
There is a fairly good possibility that those T. kleinmanni at the Behler Center originated from the WCS/Bronx Zoo. Back in 2005 when the Behler Center was first opened, ALL of the tortoises from the St. Catherine's Island Survival Center (SCSC) in GA (which was run by the WCS/Bronx Zoo) were transferred there. Other tortoises from the Bronx Zoo were also transferred there over the years, so it is possible that the Egyptian Tortoises I donated to the Bronx Zoo in 1995 or 1996 may have been sent there as well. I will try to find out from the former WCS Collection Manager and post my findings if I learn anything significant.
 
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