The Zoo's largest reptiles make the annual move to their summer exhibit
What has 12 legs, weighs over 1,000 pounds and likes to lounge around a pool? No, not your visiting relatives. It's Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's trio of Aldabra tortoises, Tim, Tom and Terry.
The group recently moved into their summer exhibit outside the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building. They had been in their winter quarters inside the Zoo's Center for Zoological Medicine since last fall. It's finally warm enough for them to stay outside day and night.
Although these animals arrived at the Zoo in 1955, this will be the first summer spent outdoors for Terry. That's because prior to last fall, Terry was thought to be a female and was named Mary.
Because it is difficult to determine the sex of a tortoise without careful examination, and because he has always been smaller than the other two tortoises, Terry was believed to be a female. However, during a physical exam last fall, his sex was determined to be male and Mary was renamed Terry.
Before the move, the Zoo's Animal Care staff weighed each animal. Terry was the lightest at 356 pounds, while Tim tipped the scales at 419 and Tom topped out at 422.
Aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantean) are vegetarians and are native to the Seychelles Islands and neighboring islands off the east coast of Africa. They can live over 100 years.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 per person ages 12 and older, $7 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 77, 90 and 480. To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.