Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Aldabra Tortoise

I used to always get excited about finding a turtle when I was little. Occasionally a box turtle or gopher tortoise (these days you can't mess with the gopher tortoises. They're threatened.) would happen to wander through our yard, and I'd grab it and play for a while. They probably didn't appreciate it very much, but I have fond memories of some of those turtles. I can also remember eating the occasional softshell turtle, and I know for a fact that those guys didn't appreciate that. But imagine when I stumbled across these giant Aldabra Tortoises at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Each of these guys is the size of a barrel! What would I have done if I'd come across one of these in my back yard? I suspect I would have turned around and run the other way. The picture above shows them as I first saw them, unable to tell which end was the front and which end was the back. Wandering back by a few minutes later revealed that I was looking at the front end, as a head finally poked out and had a short look-see.

Some years back, I had a cool encounter with a turtle almost this big, but it was a sea turtle, not a giant land animal. Check it out.

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