NEWPORT NEWS-The Virginia Living Museum is taking care of five tortoises rescued from a fire at a pet store in Tappahannock.
Firefighters were called to Driftwood Aquatics Pet Store around 6:30 a.m. on July 30 and found smoke and flames coming from the roof.
Right after the fire, seven tortoises were being cared for by Wildbunch Wildlife Rehab Refuge in Warsaw, but the group reached out to the museum after they didn't seem to be getting better.
“They were all black, covered with creosote, and suffering from smoke inhalation when they arrived,” said Va. Living Museum Medical Coordinator Linda Addison.
Two of the tortoises died days later and the others were struggling.
“The first two weeks were really critical, but now they’re getting a better bill of health,” Addison noted.
The two leopard tortoises and three red foot tortoises are now responding to treatment at the Newport News museum and are “doing extremely well,” she said.
What will happen to them once they're recovered? Addison says some will end up at area veterinary offices but a couple may stay at the museum as ambassadors of their species.
For now, the turtles are not on display.