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After ‘Deep Space’ Adventure, Branson Now Cultivating Burmese Turtles In BVI

ROAD TOWN, Tortola — Conservation efforts to protect an endangered Asian turtle continue in the British Virgin Islands, according to noted philanthropist Sir Richard Branson.

“Two very rare baby Burmese tortoises were recently born on Necker Island,” Branson said. “A beautiful species that is critically endangered. Really proud of the ongoing conservation work to help these species, and many more, on Necker and in the BVI.”

Branson said at least two types of turtles and tortoises are being conserved on Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, which he owns.

“It’s been a brilliant year for baby tortoises being born on Necker,” the British billionaire added “This is the only picture we’ve ever seen of a baby giant tortoise, a red-footed tortoise and a very rare Burmese tortoise all in one place!”

Photo: Facebook

The Burmese roofed turtle is one of six species of turtle in the genus Batagur of the family Geoemydidae.

It is native to Myanmar, but was believed to be extinct until rediscovered in 2002.

Branson went into space aboard his rocket ship VSS Unity on July 11 along with five crewmates beating out his rival Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

“You see the Earth from space that changes you, it changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth,” Bezos said in an Instagram post announcing his flight. “I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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