Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is saddened to report the death of one of its oldest residents yesterday, a male Aldabra tortoise thought to be more than 100 years old.
An animal keeper found him unresponsive in the winter quarters he shared with the Zoo’s two other Aldabra tortoises inside the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine. The Zoo’s veterinary staff is conducting a necropsy (animal autopsy) and results will be released when they become available.
“Tim” was one of three Aldabra tortoises brought to the Cleveland Zoo after a safari to eastern Africa that was sponsored by well-known Cleveland philanthropists Gordon and Vernon Stouffer and Frederick Crawford. He was a fully grown adult when he arrived with the other tortoises and a variety of other African animals in August 1955.
Tim weighed approximately 400 pounds and his shell was 43 inches long and 26 inches across.
Aldabra tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea) are native to the Seychelles and other islands off the east coast of Africa. They are vegetarians and routinely live to be over 100 years old. One of the largest species of tortoise in the world, they are classified as “vulnerable” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
For more information, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo . . . Connecting People with Wildlife