Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jungle Joe - Tortoises

Last week he took a reading adventure that led him to a close encounter with Bill the ball python and now Jungle Joe tries to keep up with someone close to his own pace Jungle Joe KX News You re looking at the painted turtles here at the Roosevelt Park Zoo But today we re taking a look at tortoises who are uncommon to our area unlike these painted turtles From the big to the small they re the tortoises of the Roosevelt Park Zoo We ll start these bigger guys They re the African spur-thighed tortoises and they re not just a big hit here at the zoo - they re just plain big Sarah Schoenberg Bird Reptile Zookeeper They re the third largest tortoise in the world and they get to be almost three from one end of their shell to the other end of their shell They can weigh over 200 pounds Luckily our largest male right now only weighs almost 60 pounds They re really docile creatures they re very gentle They do suggest to have them as pets but I don t know if you want a 200 pound tortoise in your house Jungle Joe KX News I wouldn t want my pet to weigh more than I do Being as big as these tortoises are you may be surprised to hear what foods are in their diet Sarah Schoenberg Bird Reptile Zookeeper They eat a lot of grasses and leaves in the wild In the zoo we give them more lettuce We try to keep up with the grass but it s hard They are three little monsters and they chow through everything Jungle Joe KX News While the bigger tortoises were having their lunch I wandered over to the education center to visit the smaller and I mean much smaller Egyptian tortoises Sarah Schoenberg Bird Reptile Zookeeper This is one of our four Egyptian tortoises They are the second smallest terrestrial tortoise we were just with the third largest tortoise in the world and this is the second smallest They are critically endangered right now They re only found around the Egypt area and they only get to be about 4 to 5 inches in length and he s getting close to that right now This guy is only about 3 years old so unfortunately we do not know if they re males or females yet They don t reach their maturity until they re about 10 to 20 years of age They can actually tuck themselves in and their little legs will protect their head Jungle Joe KX News and that helps them hide from their predators That s just a short overview of the tortoises both large and small here at the Roosevelt Park Zoo For KX News I m Jungle Joe

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