Officer Jack slowly walks inside the abandoned house and it felt so alone, so empty. How long had it been since it heard the laughter of a child? How long had it been since it felt the coolness of fresh paint or contained the mouthwatering fragrance of thanksgiving dinner? He passes by cracked windows but his eyes were still searching. He was going to find it. He was sure.
At that point, he could almost smell it, nearly taste it, like curdled milk on his tongue. He stopped when he came to a doorway. Wooden planks barred him from entering. The boards were cracked and splintery, enough that he could tell it was recent. Still, he had to check. He peered in and an uneasy feeling hit the pit of his stomach.
In southwest Madagascar, there was a house that despite its beautiful and serene surroundings, was a house that had been abandoned for years and had an eerily creepy reputation about it. It was a house that kids used to speed past at night, a house that none of the neighbors ever wanted to get close to.
Despite the rumors, the townspeople were equally as curious about the house that ‘nobody would dare go into.’ But little did they know they would soon discover the secret that lied within the walls of the house. And it was a secret that world turn this once happy and idyllic neighborhood upside down.
It was a cold autumn day when a terrible smell lingered through the neighborhood. As soon as the townspeople walked outside their home, they smelt it. It was faint at first, but then it was so bad it made it difficult to breathe.
The neighbors flocked together to try and figure out where the smell was coming from. Then, they all turned towards the abandoned house on the edge of the street. It had to be from there, but why? These neighbors had no idea what was coming.
Officer Jack Smith was one of the neighbors that was intrigued by the house. It was supposed to be his day off and he had planned to take his daughter to a local theme park, but he knew he had to stop and find out answers.
He knew he had to call for back up.
When the police arrived, they had no idea what was going on inside the house so they decided to cover all the bases. They knew they had to investigate the house so they brought along a team of medical examiners, specialists, and wildlife experts.
Officer Jack knew he needed to have everyone possible on hand just in case. But as he waited for the experts to arrive, his eyes glanced towards the mysterious house, and a terrible feeling hit the pit of his stomach.
All of the officials pulled into the scene and assumed that the problem at the house wouldn’t be too serious. The root of the smell couldn’t be criminal activity, right?
After all, this was a perfect neighborhood and everyone often lived in peace without too much trouble. But little did the group know just how wrong they really were.
The house was incredibly quiet and the team wondered if this house was ever for sale. It had been abandoned for years and since then hundreds of rumors circulated about this house. Some said it was haunted, others said it was just an old run-down house.
But as the group approached the house, bursting with curiosity, they had no idea what was inside.
Officer Jack pushes the door slightly forward and straight away the disgusting smell bursts through, a smell so bad it made the team feel lightheaded. A member of the wildlife expert team said that the only thing she could think was causing the smell was a rotting animal somewhere in the house.
But then she admitted that she couldn’t rule out that it could also be a rotting human. It couldn’t be, could it?
When the team walked inside the house, all of a sudden they heard people speaking. The team looked at each other with confusion. They then saw that a group of men were digging holes outside and as soon as they saw the police, they stopped abruptly with a nervous expression on their flustered faces.
The cops assumed that what the men were doing was illegal, so they followed protocol and each of the men were cuffed and questioned. The team then started to look inside the house, but when they got to one of the rooms they saw something that left them lost for words.
Inside one of the rooms, the group saw what looked like an unusual rug. But upon closer look, the group realized that the floor was in fact covered with thousands of tortoises!
As the team moved from room to room they found more and more tortoises! Many of them were in danger of passing away, and some already have. The group had to be quick. But questions were running through their minds.
A member of the team saw the coloring on the tortoise and straight away realized that they were very rare and were known to only live in Madagascar.
Why would someone do this? And more importantly, why were they in this house?
The police assumed that the suspects were poachers who were smuggling the tortoises out of the home. You see some people buy them as pets and others buy them as delicacies. Either way what they were doing was illegal; these tortoises were on the verge of going extinct!
Thankfully, all the men were arrested. But Officer Jack and his team knew they needed to act fast to save these tortoises. But it wasn’t looking good.
The tortoises were not in good health, over 9,000 were dehydrated and they all desperately needed to be nursed back to health. So Officer Adam and his team did whatever they could. In the end, out of of the 9,000 tortoises that were rescued, only 8,000 survived.
Thankfully, the men were arrested and justice was served. The 8,000 tortoises that survived were safe and sound, and the disgusting smell that once lingered in the peaceful and tranquil neighborhood had vanished. And all was back to normal.