June 12, 2015
Freddie, the Fly River Turtle
- as seen by -Avishai Shuter
His name is Freddie, and he’s 57 years young. He’s met more people at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in those years than many of us will in our lifetimes – thousands of excited children, parents, school groups, and other zoo guests have watched him swim around effortlessly at the Bronx Zoo’s World of Reptiles.
Freddie is a Fly River turtle native to the river systems of Southern Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and Papua, New Guinea, as well as the northwestern rivers of the Northern Territory in Australia. He arrived at the Bronx Zoo from the Taronga Zoo in Australia in 1958, and he’s been a crowd favorite ever since.
Fly River turtles are almost entirely aquatic and are the only freshwater turtles that have flippers – all the rest are sea turtles. Their shells are covered in skin, and feel slippery and leathery to the touch. They eat mostly vegetation and fruit, but will consume fish and crustaceans when they can catch them.
Fly River turtles are amazing animals, so come and see Freddie during your next visit to the Bronx Zoo.