It’s only natural to get attached to our belongings, but when it becomes uncontrollable, hoarding can turn into a harmful habit. There’s always a psychological explanation for why people hoard and it could be due to past trauma or difficult experience that left them feeling like they needed to compensate by taking control of their possessions.

People who hoard animals often keep dozens or even hundreds of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Too often, we see and hear horror stories about people who have amassed so many animals that providing them all with food and shelter has become impossible. These individuals care for their pets deeply but simply lack the resources to take care of them all.

Having a lot of animals is one thing, but when people are breeding them solely for profit, it’s an entirely different story that most cannot empathize with.

After officials looked into the matter, they found that the reason tortoises from Madagascar are drastically decreasing in numbers is due to humans. They are now classified as “critically endangered” and are very rare and expensive because of their distinct shell pattern.

At first, the authorities investigated a lead. Soon, though they caught wind of a terrible smell coming from a house nearby.

Soary Randrianjafizanaka, the head of the Ministry of the Environment, Ecology, and Forest said that the smell was unbelievable. Randrianjafizanaka stated, “It was so awful. They had tortoises in the bathroom, in the kitchen, everywhere in the house.” The house where these tortoises were found was just as dirty as other cases of animal hoarding.

The house in Toliara, Madagascar is two stories tall and both floors were crammed with tortoises. Most of them had waste and dead animals covering their shells.

Thoroughly investigating the house, the authorities found 10,000 endangered tortoises inside. Of these 9,880 were alive and 180 were dead. The two people who lived in the house were, unfortunately, at the back of their house burying more dead tortoises.

The apprehended two individuals plus one additional person are associated with this purported illicit operation, as advised by the law enforcement officers.

In horrendous conditions, these rare and endangered tortoises were immediately brought to the rehabilitation center nearby. Although the rehab center did its best, 500 of these tortoises died. Randrianjafizanaka stated that they do not currently know who is behind this illegal hoarding other than “we know there’s a big boss.”

This case was one of many illegal smuggling operations for endangered species to collectors in this country, but authorities were relieved that they stopped this group’s plans in time. They saved an outrageous number of tortoises from the continuous decline of these creatures.