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Vic Morgan was our guest speaker for July   "Defying Destiny"  The Asian Mountain Tortoise
vicpresentation702_2.jpg (17665 bytes)Vic gave an outstanding presentation on the Asian mountain tortoise, Manouria emys emys and M. e. phayrei.  He gave a thorough slide presentation which told his story of success with this endangered tortoise.  His introduction included a lot of the background information about the tortoises and the two subspecies.  He admitted to buying them on impulse, but has not regretted it.  He mention many important contribution he has made regarding the behavioral observations.  The one that struck me as fascinating, was the fact that these tortoises will search for areas that will be in the sunlight in the morning, and go to that spot to sleep during some winter nights, knowing that the sun will warm them up first thing in the morning.  This obviously enables them to have more "active" time.   Among the many detailed observations, he added humor along the way.  This presentation would not be complete without the story of how Wayne Hill played what he called, "The best practical joke I have ever seen."  Here is the "brief" version:  vicpresentation702_1.jpg (15180 bytes)Vic had been in Miami dealing with the tons of imported turtles from China.  He brought several Manouria back with him.  It was winter and Wayne had better temporary housing for the tortoises available, so he kept Vic's tortoises for a few weeks.  Wayne planted the seed and told Vic that he thought one of the tortoises was gravid.  Vic disagreed for various reasons.  When They were looking at the tortoises, Vic saw what he thought were freshly layed eggs.  While he was telling Wayne, Wayne walked over and said,"What?", as he stepped on the eggs.  Vic had a cow and was freaking out (probably hyperventilating).  He later found out that they were ping pong balls.  All I have to say is that I wish I was there to see it. 
One of Vic's new hatchlings.  Note the egg tooth in the photo on the left.
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