Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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giant tortoise adoption

Family heirloom and environmental donation.
  [vote for,

The Galapagos Giant Turtle (Geochelone elephantopus) has a lifespan of well over a century; some individuals may have lived to two centuries. It is also a highly endangered species, due to all the usual reasons.

So, for a hefty sum ($50,000?), allow individuals to "adopt" a particular giant tortoise. The tortoise is tagged with a radio transponder, but left in the wild. The money is invested to fund conservation efforts.

With your donation, you get visitation rights. Take your family to the Galapagos; conservation staff will take you on a safari to find your turtle. They're large, gentle herbivores; your kids can walk right up, touch the shell, and maybe even go for a "ride" (?).

The neat thing, and the reason the cost is so high, is that the tortoise is a living heirloom. In 200 years, your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren could still be visiting the same tortoise. (Imagine if you could visit a tortoise which an ancestor of yours adopted in 1800!)

When the animal finally dies, the money is refunded to your estate (without interest).

egnor, Apr 15 2001

Adopt an endangered manatee. http://www.savethem...ee.org/adoptpag.htm
Significantly less expensive, but with less benefits for the adoptor. [beauxeault, Apr 15 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Sure. Everybody wins. Could also post a website with all sponsored tortoise's current positions, and a brief note of thanks to each of their sponsors.
Dog Ed, Apr 15 2001

       Now, where did I put my wallet?...
DrBob, Apr 15 2001

       It can't be that affordable; there are only ~500 left in the wild.
egnor, Apr 15 2001

       I know, but I couldn't find an adoption agency for giant tortoises. The cool thing about the tortoise is the lifespan; most animals won't outlive you, let alone the next six generations of your family.   

       Visitation rights are also important; a big part of the appeal is the ability to feel the shell of the tortoise your great^6 grandparents adopted.
egnor, Apr 16 2001

       Crocodiles live for 200-300 years? Do you have a reference for that?   

       I'm not sure it would be such a great idea to have the kids go up and pet the croc.
egnor, Apr 16 2001

       Defining "lifespan" for a fungus might be tricky; some of them are close to an undifferentiated morass of cells, and who's to say when one "organism" dies and another takes its place?   

       But then, I'm no biologist.
egnor, May 09 2001

       I'd like to visit a tortoise an ancestor adopted in 1800. But I just realized I'd rather have my share of the $50,000, with two centuries of compounded interest.
beauxeault, May 09 2001

       Peter-what about goats?
AfroAssault, Jun 05 2001

       "Egnor, you could also do it with crocodiles. Lifespans of 200-300 years."   

       Where did you get this idea from?
distortions, Dec 16 2003

       //I'm not sure it would be such a great idea to have the kids go up and pet the croc//   

       "Strangely, I later learnt that my great-great grandfather had also had a prosthetic hand..."
lostdog, Dec 16 2003


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