Aldabra Tortoise Makes Her Spring Walk
The final sign of spring has sprung at Zoo Atlanta. Patches, a female Aldabra tortoise estimated to be at least 50 years old, made the season’s ceremonial “Aldabra Walk” on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, kicking off the return of the Zoo’s giant tortoises to their warmweather habitat at Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience.
Patches and her fellow Aldabra tortoises, female Corky and male Shuffles, are estimated to have hatched around 1965. Aldabra tortoises are among the world’s longest-lived animals, with lifespans that can exceed 100 years.
The world’s only endemic population of Aldabra tortoises is found on the islands of Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. While the species benefits from the protections afforded by Aldabra Atoll’s designation as a World Heritage Site, Aldabra tortoises are currently classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The tortoises play a distinct ecological role in their natural environments, creating pathways for other animals as they forage for vegetation.
Although Patches herself is a piece of living history at Zoo Atlanta, she completed her walk outfitted with the latest 21st century technology, wearing a GoPro camera on her shell.
Zoo Members and guests may meet and feed Patches, Corky or Shuffles in Aldabra Tortoise Wild Encounters; book a program or learn more on zooatlanta.org.
Zoo Atlanta 800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E. Atlanta, GA 30315
Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell
Gavin Johnson, Public Relations & Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office
About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with over 1,000 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring 60 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opened in April 2015. Zoo collection highlights include Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; North America’s largest zoological collection of great apes, and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, giant pandas, lemurs and Aldabra giant tortoises. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org or call 404.624.WILD.