The Greensboro Science Center is home to four Aldabra tortoises. Jack and Mack were born in 1990 and came to us in August of 2005. Traveler and Journey were born in 2001 and came to us in October of 2005.
Tortoises are cold-blooded, meaning their internal temperature is the same temperature as their surroundings. Because of this, our tortoises spend cold winter days inside their blockhouse, which is heated to a comfortable 80 degrees. During warmer weather, you’ll likely see them sleeping, eating and cooling off in their pond.
KEEPER NOTESJack is very sociable and loves to be scratched and rubbed by his keepers. When we walk away, he will follow us wanting more.
Our tortoises enjoy leafy greens, squash, tomatoes, watermelons, pumpkins, and cantaloupes!
Our tortoises are target trained. This allows us to direct them where we need them to go since they are too heavy to pick up and move from place to place. They are also trained on foot and neck/poke behaviors. The foot behavior allows us to pick up their feet to see if they have any problems. The neck/poke behavior allows us to more easily draw blood from their necks during veterinary procedures.
Tortoises are often featured on our behind-the-scenes Zoo Trek experience! Click here to learn more.
Native to Aldabra Island, an atoll island in the Seychelles (a group of islands off the eastern coast of Africa)
Primarily herbivores; will occasionally eat carrion
Males: up to 4 ft.
Females: up to 3 ft.
Males: up to 550 lbs.
Females: up to 350 lbs.
Females bury 9 to 25 tennis-ball sized eggs which hatch after 73 - 160 days
Threats include habitat loss, hunting and invasive species.
The oldest living Aldabra tortoise is believed to be Jonathan, a male from St. Helena estimated to have hatched circa 1832!