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Giving ZooDay

A Budding Tortoise Romance

Last year, 99-year-old Abrazzo came to Philadelphia Zoo as a potential mating partner for Mommy, a 96-year-old Galapagos tortoise who has been living with us since 1932. After a year of courtship, it’s time to prepare Mommy and Abrazzo’s home for mating season.

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That’s where you come in!

This #GivingZOODay we’re raising $10,000 to purchase Lava Rock and Clean Fill—a stabilizing mixture of broken-down rocks, sand, and clay—to make the perfect home for our nesting Galapagos tortoises.

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Aldabra tortoise eating hibiscus at Philadelphia Zoo

Sharing The Love

Not only will these two materials help Mommy dig the right burrow for her clutch of baby tortoise eggs, Lava Rocks—just like what they would encounter in the volcanic islands of the Galapagos and the Seychelles—will help Little Girl, a fellow Galapagos tortoise, and our Aldabra tortoises Wilma, Betty, Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dum’s nails stay trim and healthy without their keeper having to pull out the clippers.

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With your support this #GivingZOODay, come spring, Mommy and Abrazzo will be prepared to nest and have the best possible chance of bringing healthy baby tortoises to Philadelphia Zoo.

Two centuries ago, the Galapagos Islands were home to more than 200,000 giant tortoises. Today four species are extinct and only 10% of the original number remain. Pairing Mommy and Abrazzo was a recommendation made by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s cooperatively managed Species Survival Program (SSP), whose goal is to maintain populations under human care that are both genetically diverse and demographically stable and, in some cases, reintroduce species into the wild.

Meet Our Tortoises