TV News:
Egyptian Tortoises Get Lease of Life on Cairo Rooftop

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In addition to the Cairo rooftop, several other areas have been set up to help the tortoise. In the Zaranik Protected Area on the Sinai peninsula, once part of the tortoises' natural range, some tortoises have been released into the wild and others are in enclosures.

In the United States, the Baltimore Zoo has been breeding the tiny tortoise since 1994. So far this year, five eggs have hatched and the zoo expects more in the coming weeks.

One of the larger goals of TortoiseCare is to promote the ethic of conservation among Egyptians. Moustafa Foda, director of the Egyptian government's nature conservation efforts, is trying to help change people's attitudes.

"People don't understand yet the concept of conservation. We do the best we can to make them understand the concept itself, at large. Even our own people," Foda said.

Like any change, it will be a while before many people begin to realize the value in saving the Egyptian tortoise. Till then, Baha el-Din will keep maintaining his rooftop conservatory, and hoping for the comeback of one of the world's most endangered species.

For more on this coverage of TortoiseCare and the Egyptian tortoise, watch the television news show National Geographic Today June 4 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

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