Giant tortoises, renovated enclosures gives Kolkata zoo a makeover

With a pair of giant tortoises gifted from the islands of Seychelles and renovated enclosures, the Kolkata zoo now boasts a fresh look in the festive season.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 20, 2014, 23:11 PM IST

Kolkata: With a pair of giant tortoises gifted from the islands of Seychelles and renovated enclosures, the Kolkata zoo now boasts a fresh look in the festive season.

Coinciding with the arrival of the giant Aldabra tortoises, which are known to live for more than 200 years, a new reptile house, information centre in a renovated heritage building and enclosures for birds and lesser cats was inaugurated today by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The pair of new tortoises have now been placed under quarantine and would be on display after a fortnight, zoo director Kanailal Ghosh told PTI.

Weighing around 100 kgs, the male tortoise is 35 years old and is as large as 2.5 feet in size.

"The government of Seychelles had decided to gift it after after the death of Adwaita, an Aldabra tortoise brought to India by the East India Company as gift to Lord Robert Clive, which came to the zoo in 1875," said Ghosh.

Adwaita had reportedly lived for 255 years and had died eight years ago.

The new acquisition would soon be placed in the new reptile house which has natural surroundings and glass walls.

Zoo authorities have also renovated the 140-year-old Mullick House in the campus which once used to host cats. It has now been transformed into an information centre.

The aviary which dates back to more than a century has also been renovated along with an enclosure for lesser cats.

The animals of cat family (like cheetah, leopard) which can not roar as they do not have a floating Hyoid bone in their necks, are called Lesser Cats.