We need your to HELP to raise $350,000 to build a NEW Tortoise Exhibit! This exhibit is stage two of our three stage plan to update our African Trail.
A beautiful, state-of-the-art Tortoise Hut will provide an enclosed environment for the Aldabra Tortoises. The modern climate and humidity controlled building has several areas to provide the tortoises with multiple choices, including areas for basking, bathing, and hiding. Visitors will be able to enter the building and view the gigantic creatures throughout the colder months of the year. When the tortoises are inside the tortoise hut, relaxing in their home, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in their feeding. On the hot summer days when tortoises can bask in the sun, visitors can walk along paths in the outside exhibit area to see the tortoises. This is an exciting year-round exhibit that brings these endangered and rarely seen animals to the Lehigh Valley.
Turtles, including tortoises, are the most endangered group of animals worldwide. About half of the 328 species of living turtles are endangered with many on the brink of extinction. Human development, pollution, invasive species, over-collection for pet trade, unsustainable harvest, and poaching for eggs and body parts have taken a heavy toll on turtle populations.
Humans are the problem but can also be the solution. Concerted conservation efforts are needed to prevent many turtle and tortoise species from becoming extinct in the next few decades. Bringing awareness of this situation to members and guests of Lehigh Valley Zoo is our responsibility as a conservation organization and part of our effort to save species from extinction. An exhibit featuring tortoise species from the African faunal biomes will provide a venue to present the plight of these animals.
Aldabra giant tortoises are primarily herbivores – they eat grasses, leaves, and woody plant stems. They can reach 3 to 4 feet in length and can weigh 350 to 500 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females. Aldabra giant tortoises are currently one of the largest species of tortoise on the planet. Some individual Aldabra giant tortoises are thought to be over 200 years of age, but this is difficult to verify because they tend to outlive their human observers.
Zoo guests are often surprised by the charisma of the tortoise and how his personality draws guests to him. And, guests are even more drawn in when they have the opportunity to feed the tortoise. Most guests who spend time with an Aldabra Tortoise develop a sense of awe and empathy for these amazing creatures. In turn, we anticipate that once guests learn about the danger of extinction of this remarkable animal, they will join in support of the Zoo’s conservation efforts.
All monetary gifts are 100% tax deductible.
Funds raised in excess of $350,000 goal will go toward the overall African Trail project.
Naming opportunities are available! For inquiries on naming opportunities or your donation, please contact Doreen Carl, Development Manager at 610-799-4171 ext. 232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with our Tortoise Exhibit campaign, we now have the Aldabra Tortoise available as part of our ADOPT An Animal program!