The city of Rogersville, Missouri, is getting a national focus thanks to a local documentary called Tortises.
The film is a documentary about the tortoise that is a staple of Rogersvillians restaurants.
The story begins in August 2017, when a tortoise named Tortises went missing.
In the film, the local news reporter discusses the tortoises condition, how it became the mascot of Rogers, and what happens to them when they are not with the Rogers family.
“They go into the back of the restaurant, they’re gone, and then they’re back again,” said Natasha Hirsch, a journalist for the local television station KTVI.
The next day, the tortuises’ owner, Dave Rogers, was found dead, his body found in a creek with several other turtles.
The death of the owner is not mentioned in the film.
“It’s really interesting that, when we were watching it, we were like, ‘Oh, my God, this is weird,'” said Hirsch.
“The city has been getting a lot of attention for its tortoise culture and its tortoise rescue.
I don’t think there’s been a better time to talk about tortoise rescues in the past, so that was really nice.”
The tortois were found to be in good health, but were eventually euthanized.
They were buried in the backyard of a local park, where a community activist found them and donated their ashes.
The city is now planning to turn the turtle into a park turtle and has offered to take in more tortoides to be placed in the park.
“We’re trying to get them back into Rogersville,” said Hensch.
“When I was watching the film and talking to the people that were involved in it, I was like, this city has got to do something about this.”
Tortises were not the only animals to be featured in Tortises, however.
“There’s also a bunch of other animals that I think are also quite interesting,” said KTVL.
“I think they’re a lot more than just a turtle.
I think they can also be a little bit like a cat, so I think that’s kind of cool.”
For Rogersville’s animal lover, this film offers a unique look into the tortile community and the people who care for them.
“A lot of people are very curious about this community, and this community is really very active in their local area, and they’re just really excited about tortoising,” said Amy Furlong, a Rogersville resident and former Rogersville Police Department detective.
“And they’re not necessarily the most educated about it, but they’re interested in it.”
The Tortises are featured in the documentary, but the city also has other important conservation efforts underway.
“Our goal is to get this tortoise out of the wild and into the wild habitat and hopefully into the backyard,” said Furlongs mom, Natalie.
“For the city to do that, we need the community to step up and take care of it.”
Tortoise rescue programs are a large part of the city’s wildlife conservation efforts.
Rogersville has a tortoist program that brings in trained individuals who can teach the animals to perform their daily duties, such as digging holes, picking up litter, and feeding their own chicks.
“This is a great opportunity to get these tortoists in the community and really have them get involved in a lot things that are important to them,” said Natalie.
Tortoise rescuers are also looking to partner with private companies to rehabilitate the tortos that are euthanased.
This involves the tortises owners taking them to a rehab facility where they can live out their lives.
“These animals have been lost to extinction,” said Julie O’Connor, Rogersville Tortoise Rescue coordinator.
“So there’s a lot we need to do to make sure that they’re still around in some kind of habitat.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing a tortise death or tortoise rescue, contact the Rogersville Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
“As soon as they’re found, they need to be put back in the wild, which is not the case with tortoias,” said O’Conner.
“That’s what tortoires are good at, that’s what we want to do, and we’ll get them into a habitat that’s healthy for them to survive.”
Tortoises are an endangered species, and the city of Ottawa is working to help rehabilitate their populations.
Rogersvillans residents have also expressed an interest in learning more about the city.
“If people know about the plight of the tortillas, then that’s great, because that’s a really important story,” said Howard, a resident of Rogers Village.
“But if people don’t know about it and are only aware of the story of Rogersburg, I think it’s really