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Sleeping Giant

May 23, 2020

Sleeping Giant

- as seen by -

Avishai Shuter Avishai Shuter

Where does a 500-pound tortoise sleep? Wherever he wants! 

This is a picture of Abdul, a male Aldabra tortoise (Aldabrchelys gigantea), fast asleep in the giant tortoise yard next to Zoo Center at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. 

Because of their size, Aldabra tortoises aren’t concerned about predators and feel comfortable falling sleep with their heads and limbs outstretched. Sometimes, they even fall asleep underwater, occasionally lifting their heads up to breath. 

Aldabra tortoises are native only to the Aldabra Atoll of the Seychelles, northeast of Madagascar. They are one of two species of giant tortoise still alive today, the other being Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra spp.). In the past, there were several other species living on different island groups around the world, but it is likely that many were driven to extinction by human activity. These tortoises are very long-lived, and can reach over 150 years of age.

Turtles and tortoises all over the world continue to be threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, hunting, and other human activities. Together, we can work to protect these amazing animals around the globe.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today is World Turtle Day, a time to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises and encourage action to help them survive and thrive.


Bronx, US Map It

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