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New Exhibit for Galapagos Tortoise opens at Toledo Zoo

Starting on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, visitors to the Toledo Zoo can visit Emerson, the Galapagos tortoise who arrived in August, at his new quarters at the Zoo’s historic Ziems Conservatory.

Coincidentally, both Emerson and his new home are about the same age. The Conservatory, among the oldest buildings on Zoo grounds, was originally built in 1904; although Emerson’s exact age is unknown, he is at least 100 years old.

This new exhibit offers an ideal, climate-controlled environment for the giant tortoise. The Conservatory houses a variety of tropical plants under its distinctive glass roof, including bananas, palms and ferns. Some of these are close relatives to flora native to the Galapagos Islands.

When the temperature is at least 32 degrees outside visitors can see Emerson at the Conservatory during regular Zoo hours through Nov 13.  Beginning Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015, during the Lights Before Christmas, the Conservatory will be open from 2 pm to 8 pm, weather permitting.  In the spring, when the weather warms, Emerson will gain an outdoor exhibit adjacent to the Conservatory.

The giant tortoise’s species is native to the Galapagos Islands, near Ecuador off the western coast of South America. Galapagos tortoises can live for 150+ years, with males measuring up to 6 feet long and weighing as much as 500 pounds (females are smaller). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the species as vulnerable.

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/05/14 04:21:08 -0800.




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