Though no longer endangered, half of some 1,400 threatened desert tortoises are scheduled to be euthanized amid budget cuts at the Las Vegas Valley facility housing them. Funded by the Bureau of Land Management, the facility plans to close by 2014 since it can't secure its $1 million budget. The move to euthanize is seen as necessary to spare old or domesticated tortoises the harshness of the wild. “It’s the lesser of two evils, but it’s still evil."
About 100,000 desert tortoises remain.