Nashville Zoo welcomes Galapagos tortoises to new exhibit

Nashville Zoo welcomes Galapagos tortoises to new exhibit (Image 1)
Nashville Zoo welcomes Galapagos tortoises to new exhibit (Image 1)

The Nashville Zoo's newest exhibit offers a close up look at two majestic creatures known as the Galapagos tortoises.

Bella and Darwin are quickly becoming a zoo favorite.

Katie Gregory, Herpetology Keeper at the Nashville Zoo, spends time with the rare reptiles, feeding them a steady diet of fruits and vegetables.

“They don't move very fast. I think maybe 0.2 miles per hour, very slow. They take their time. They are not in a hurry anywhere they go,” she said.

The two females weigh just under 200 pounds each, but someday, they could easily weigh over 800 pounds.

“I just love how slow they are, majestic, especially Darwin. She has such an awesome personality. She will let you scratch on her and let you love on her a bit, and she can brighten any day,” said Gregory.

Although speed is not the tortoise's strength, their longevity is.  They live longer than humans.

Chances are a Galapagos tortoise will have more birthdays than anyone.  In the wild, they live to be over 100 years old. One captive tortoise lived to 150 years old.

The unique face of the tortoise even inspired Hollywood  The Galapagos tortoise was said to be the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's movie “ET.”

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