Tomas Diagne is an African freshwater turtle and tortoise expert who has been working to save threatened and endangered turtle species in Senegal for the past 29 years. Coastal Wildlife Club welcomes everyone to a rare presentation by Mr. Diagne at 7pm, Dec 1 at Green Street Church entitled ‘’African Turtle Research and Conservation Initiatives.’’ Mr. Diagne began rescuing endangered African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata) as a teenager, and in 1992 he created S.O.S. (Save Our Sulcatas), a non-profit organization. He founded and built the Village des Tortues in Rufisque, Senegal, a sanctuary and captive breeding facility for sulcata tortoises that now houses over 300 individuals and has re-introduced numerous others back to the wild. Tomas has also been actively involved in tortoise, freshwater and marine turtle research throughout Africa. In 2006 he decided to build the African Chelonian Institute (ACI) near Saly, Senegal in order to expand turtle research, captive breeding, and re-introduction to all African species. Coastal Wildlife Club (wwwcoastalwildlifeclub.org), the Englewood organization responsible for doing sea turtle patrol on Manasota Key, as well as Gasparilla, Little Gasparilla and Palm Islands, is proud to host such a preeminent turtle researcher and conservationist. Pictured is Thomas Diagne helping rescue a rare Madagascan big-headed turtle.