The Real Reason Why There Was a Stench in the Neighborhood and Everyone Was Shocked

By Luisa K

This article was originally published on docjournals

Most of us think we know our neighbors pretty well. Or at least we think we know what they may or may not be capable of. One neighborhood in Madagascar thought they knew their neighbors fairly well until a terrible smell started to emerge. As time went on, the stench only worsened, which made the neighbors worried, and some even became ill! You hear all sorts of terrible stories about the unknown horrors that happen right under your nose, and the inhabitants of this neighborhood believed that something nasty was going on around them.

Were they going to end up as part of a major murder investigation? Was it still safe for them to live in the neighborhood and sleep in their own beds at night? When the police finally came to investigate what was causing the stink from the abandoned house, the rest of the neighborhood was shocked! The police discovered what was causing the stench, and it wasn’t what anybody was expecting!

The Abandoned House

There are abandoned houses, and there are abandoned houses. Usually, a house that is abandoned means that nobody lives there. So this house was a bit confusing in that way. It looked abandoned, but as the neighbors had observed, people were going in and out.


The problem wasn’t the fact that this house was abandoned; the neighbors’ issue was that there was a terrible smell coming from inside. The neighbors got together and discussed the problem, and they were considering calling the police. In the end, they decided to report the home as overrun to city officials, but then they encountered an issue.

But the House Wasn’t Uninhabited

The neighbors in the area desperately wanted to get rid of the stench looming over their neighborhood but found that they couldn’t report the house as overrun because it wasn’t empty. The stench was too much for the entire neighborhood, yet there were still people living inside the house, seemingly unbothered by the smell.


Time passed, and after a while, the smell seemed to dissipate. The neighbors were relieved that the smell had gone and just thought that the owners had got their infestation problem under control. Now that the smell was gone, the neighbors continued life as normal, but then it came back.

The Stench Returned

The neighbors were quick to think themselves lucky that the smell had gone for good because it soon came back. This time, however, it seemed different. It still smelt horrible, only this time it was even worse than before!


The neighbors decided that something must be done about the horrible smell, so they came together to discuss matters. Their meeting resulted in them calling the authorities to report the stench; after all, it was a public annoyance. The police had a good idea of what the smell might be, but was it what they predicted?

The Police Investigated the Smell

After the police received a permit to investigate the home, they called in some complainants to help in the investigation. The police thought that the complainants might help in guiding them around the home to give them an indication of where the smell was coming from.

Besides from investigating every possible option, the police didn’t really know where to begin. They prepared for every possible outcome. In the end, they also called in Wildlife Committee members to aid their investigation.

The Wildlife Committee Members Intervened

Wildlife Committee members were called in to help with the investigation. It was a mystery so far. The stench could have been an infestation caused by wildlife, or it could have been coming from a dead body. Nobody knew at this point.

Soary Randrianjafizanaka was one of the participants working on behalf of the Wildlife Committee. When it comes to cases concerning any kind of wildlife in Madagascar, the Wildlife Committee usually intervene. Soary had handled many wildlife cases in her time, but she didn’t expect what was to come.

It All Happened In Madagascar

It’s hard to believe that this all happened in Madagascar. In Toliara, to be precise, which is a small scenic town in southwest Madagascar. Not much ever happens there normally. The town is quiet, as are the locals. What Toliara is most well known for is its scenic ocean views and stunning scenery.


It’s hard to understand why people feel the need to come in and spoil such a beautiful area, but sadly, they do! As a whole, Madagascar boasts plenty of wildlife, which unfortunately makes it a prime spot for criminal activity relating to animals. The authorities concluded that the smell was caused by wildlife.

Well Prepared in Madagascar

Madagascar may be a small island, but they are well prepared when it comes to dealing with criminal activity. The Environmental Agency is a well-established institution that does all it can to preserve the island. They’re the people that deal with most wildlife-related issues and they have even rehabilitated exotic species too.

The Environmental Agency is the best institution for the job when wildlife is involved. This is why the police recruited them to investigate because they suspected it might be animal-related. Even so, neither party could foresee what they’d be dealing with in this case.

The Police Came Out

The police could smell the stench coming from the abandoned house as soon as they arrived at the scene. Despite the police being experienced in detecting the root of many crimes, they could not determine what the smell was.

Even Soary couldn’t clearly identify the smell, which concerned the police because she had handled many animal-related issues before. The whole team was worried about what they had on their hands here, and whether any of them had any experience on the issue they were facing.

It Just Seemed Like a Normal House

The weird thing was that putting the overwhelming stench aside; there was nothing unusual or suspicious about the house at all. It just seemed like any other normal house like the rest of them in the area. The house was intact and actually quite nice.


But the smell was obvious, and that was the major giveaway that there was a bigger problem here. The neighborhood was nice, it was quiet, and the neighbors were good people. So why would anybody abandon the house unless there was a dark secret hidden behind closed doors?

Time for a More Thorough Investigation

It wasn’t enough just to inspect the house from outside. The police had to conduct a more thorough investigation to see what was going on, hopefully giving them more clues. The smell was strong even from outside, but there were no signs outside, so they had to enter the house.


Committee member Soary suggested that the smell might be a result of a huge amount of animal waste that was beginning to rot inside the home. Was she right? Was it really an animal causing this smell or was it something else?

What Was Causing the Smell?

The team got ready to enter the house. It was a strange smell like nothing any of them had encountered before. It was a complete mystery to them. Although Soary suspected the smell was something animal-related, she said that she couldn’t rule out it being caused by humans.


They were aware that neighbors had sighted people entering and leaving the house, so the police had to be careful. As the team went in, the stench hit them. They couldn’t imagine how people could actually live in a home that smelt so bad.

The Investigation Began

The team began their investigation. They couldn’t bear the stench but had to continue if they wanted to uncover the truth behind the lingering odor. Then all of a sudden, they heard a noise. At that precise moment, they couldn’t decipher what it was, but it was enough to inform them that they weren’t the only ones in the house!


The police and the rest of the team searched the house. They looked for clues, they searched for evidence, and they were ready to uncover the truth. Then they heard a noise. It was people making the noise. As soon as the people inside the house clapped eyes on the police, they looked horrified!

Digging Holes

The people were making noise because they were using shovels to dig holes. They were busy digging holes inside the house when the team discovered them there. Not only was it strange enough that these people were digging holes inside their own home, but they were also digging quickly. It was as though they were up to something.


Then the police noticed something else. Strange objects surrounded them. It was a very peculiar situation. First, they realized that the house wasn’t actually abandoned, and when they discovered the people supposedly living there, they were digging holes hastily inside their home.

They Needed to Uncover the Truth

Now that the police had found the people living in the house, they began to ask questions. This wasn’t an easy process, however, as the people who had been found digging in their own home seemed suspicious. It was clear they were trying to hide something.


As the police continued with their questions, the owners of the house grew more uncomfortable and were acting strangely. The police were trained in detecting liars so the owners of the home weren’t going to get away with it lightly. One of them dropped their shovel when they saw the police. It was a dead giveaway that they were up to no good.

Arresting the Suspects

Only the police didn’t have to use interrogative questions alone to decide whether the homeowners were guilty. When the police found the people digging, they dropped their shovels and held up their hands as though giving themselves up!


That was just one sure-fire way of knowing that something wasn’t right. They had done something wrong, but what? The police arrested the suspects and investigated the rest of the house. Now that they had full, uninterrupted access to the house, it wasn’t long before the awful truth was revealed!

Chaos at the House

Judging by the terrible stench coming from inside the house, the police didn’t expect it to be a welcoming home when they got inside. However, even they were surprised at how bad the conditions were inside. The house was completely trashed.

There wasn’t an adequate room in the house, and there was also no electricity. It was so bad it looked like it had never been cleaned before! The smell and the mess filled the home, and it distracted the team from noticing that the floor seemed to be moving!

A Carpet of Tortoises

At first, the team couldn’t understand what was causing the floor to move. Initially, the police and the rest of the team just thought it was some kind of flooring material until they looked closer and realized they were tortoises. The floor was just covered in tortoises. The team couldn’t believe their eyes!


Soary, from the Wildlife Committee, was able to identify the tortoises by their markings. Yet even she couldn’t understand what they were doing there or how on earth they had got there. There were so many of them that none of the team could walk far without stepping on them!

Tortoises in Need

As soon as Soary entered the house and then discovered the tortoises, she knew straight away that they needed to get out of this terrible place! She was worried that they could die from catching some sort of infection or from dehydration or malnutrition. It was clear they weren’t being taken care of properly.


But even if they managed to get all of the tortoises out of the house, there was no guarantee that they’d survive. They were in a horrendous state. Finding somebody or an animal sanctuary to house all of these tortoises would be difficult, but the longer they stayed in this house, the less chance they had of surviving.

Not Your Average Tortoises

One thing for sure was that the team needed all the help they could get if they wanted to rescue all of these tortoises. When Soary examined the markings on the tortoises, she recognized them as a breed known as radiated tortoises. They are an extremely rare breed of tortoises.


It’s not often you’ll see radiated tortoises wandering around because they are very shy and prefer to stay out of human sight. Soary was able to identify them by their markings but in addition to their physical characteristics, she also knew that radiated tortoises are known to be very docile. This explains how the poachers managed to capture so many!

Vulnerable to Poachers

When poachers go after wildlife, they usually choose rare, endangered species because they know they will make more money off of them. Tortoises are a prime target because they aren’t known to be aggressive, and they don’t make any noise, which makes them easy for poachers to capture.


You might wonder why somebody would buy a tortoise from poachers. It might be because they want a rare, exotic pet. On the other hand, in some cultures, tortoise meat is a delicacy – so people might buy them to eat! Either way, poaching and smuggling animals is illegal, especially considering this species is on the verge of becoming extinct.

Endangered Species

There was a time when tortoises were not endangered. However, as time went on, and humans starting to invade their habitats and ecosystems, the population of tortoises has declined dramatically! By the 1990s, they had become seriously endangered, and their total global population had plummeted to just 12 million!


It sounds like a big number, but considering the size of our planet, it is actually terrifyingly low! Their numbers continue to drop, and by the year 2010, there were just 6 million tortoises left on the planet. This is what angered the team working on this case because this house contained 9 000 tortoises alone, all of which were kept in horrendous conditions. With their numbers still plummeting worldwide, it would be a terrible loss to their dwindling population if these died.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Naturally, the team wished that these animals were not in this mess to start with, but on the plus side, the team had found them, and there was still time to save them! If they remained in this house, they would have died for sure! All 9 000 of them!


Now that they had been found, the team had a chance of saving them and returning them to a safe and healthy environment. This was only half the battle. The team still had a major challenge ahead. They could move the tortoises, but would they survive?

A Heartbreaking Realization

The police wasted no time in arresting the poachers for inflicting such harm on these beautiful creatures. At the same time, the hard reality was that time was not on the tortoises’ side! They had been left in such a bad state for so long that they probably wouldn’t have survived another week if they had been left there!

The tortoises were severely malnourished and dehydrated! The team and the neighbors were shocked when they finally uncovered the awful truth about what had been going on in this house of horrors! The team sought out the best vets for the job, but they weren’t sure if they could save all of them. The health condition of these tortoises had become so bad that even the vets couldn’t be certain they’d make it!

The Neighbors Were Shocked

Of course, the neighbors in the area were shocked. They’d all spent so long pondering over what the smell could be caused by, and now they knew! None of them had any idea that such a dreadful crime was going on in a house in their neighborhood!


They were shocked to learn that this abandoned house was actually being used by poachers to store 9 000 endangered tortoises. Yet, the neighbors had never noticed these tortoises being smuggled into the seemingly abandoned house. If the police hadn’t investigated, the poachers would have continued to get away with their crimes.

More Common than You Think

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. Animal cruelty goes on all around the world, and although some abusers are caught, others are not! Animal abusers know that they can make a lot of money from selling endangered species, and sadly, there are people who buy them.


There isn’t enough done to protect animals worldwide, which is why things like this still go on! Even though these poachers know they’ll be served a hefty jail sentence, this doesn’t put them off committing these crimes because they’re motivated by the money they can get from mistreating animals.

There Was a Problem

The rescue procedure was a success. The team managed to rescue all 9 000 of the tortoises but unfortunately, not all of them survived. Sadly, the tortoises were in such a bad way that 1 000 of them died. So there were only 8 000 left. That was a terrible dent for the global population.

Even though the rescue team managed to save 8 000, it didn’t mean they were in a good state. They were seriously weak and mentally scarred from the terrible experience they endured. The other problem was where were they going to go? The team wanted to ensure that they’d never see such bad treatment again.

Rehoming the Tortoises

Like with many animals that have suffered an ordeal when kept captive, these tortoises would never have survived if they had been returned to the wild. They had spent the majority of their lives kept in ghastly, unnatural conditions.


The only option was to rehome them. If they didn’t rehome them, there was a risk that they’d be targeted again. How were they going to rehome 8000 tortoises? The team put together a group of carers to look after the tortoises to ensure they were fed and looked after.

What Now?

The care team dedicated their time to making sure the tortoises were kept fed and looked after. The tortoises are healthy, happy, and of course, safe! For most of them, it’s the happiest they’ve ever been. They’re certainly living their best life now!


The main focus now is to rehabilitate these 8 000 tortoises safely. The rescue center has done an amazing job looking after them. It also means that they’ve helped to save a substantial number of tortoises and keep their numbers up.

Prison for Animal Abusers

The law came down on the poachers who were abusing these poor tortoises. Nobody decent likes to see animals being abused and profited from. They were charged with animal abuse and every other law the authorities could throw at them. They deserved their punishment for their horrendous crimes!


Everybody involved in the capture and mistreatment of these 9000 tortoises, which were discovered at the house, was sent to jail. Hopefully, it will set an example for others who are thinking of committing similar crimes! Animal abuse is a serious matter, and serious crimes deserve adequate punishment!