Emerson, a 100-years-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise has been successfully relocated to his new home in Toledo zoo. He was moved there from the San Diego zoo, late last month.
Though zoo officials aren’t 100 percent confident, they are pretty sure that Emerson is about 100 years old. This senior Galapagos tortoise was living at the San Diego Zoo since the early 1980s and was quite content with his enclosure. Zoo officials even reported he was in great health and regularly sauntered to his numerous resting areas in his enclosure. Hence, even though he’s lived through both the world wars and seen off 16 American presidents, Emerson could still live for another 50 years.
Emerson a 440-pound Galapagos tortoise was flown to Detroit and driven to Ohio on Wednesday, last week. He has been given a permanent residence in the Toledo Zoo’s Tiger Terrace exhibit, reported The Blade. This Galapagos tortoise even has an interesting past.
Born in the wild, Emerson was on loan from the St. Louis Zoo, which still has jurisdiction over him, confirmed Christina Simmons of the San Diego Zoo. The Toledo Zoo had in fact, sent a tortoise to its San Diego counterpart. But a few years ago, it had put in a request for another one, reported San Diego6. Hence instead of sending out another tortoise, St. Louis Zoo officials asked that Emerson be sent out, said Simmons.
So how was the senior tortoise moved to Toledo? Emerson arrived at the Toledo Zoo from the San Diego Zoo, escorted by Toledo Zoo personnel on his FedEx flight to Detroit before being driven to Toledo. He was comfortably seated un-crated, inside a heated shed, dubbed the “tortabode,” for the night.
Emerson emerged from his wooden transport crate with no hesitation and immediately set out to explore his new surroundings. Extremely pleased with his behavior, handlers rewarded him with carrot and sweet potato treats and a neck rub.
Emerson has been brought in for a special reason. The zoo recently received three 2-year-old Galapagos tortoises from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas and the zoo officials want to eventually house all the four members of the species in the same enclosure. Visitors can then be able to compare the hulking, centenarian Emerson to the young tortoises, which now can be picked up with one hand. Zoo officials want the families and several of their subsequent generations to watch these species thrive, albeit in an enclosed environment.
[Image Credit | Amy E. Voigt, Jeremy Wadsworth / The Blade]