Kolkata zoo to get giant tortoises from Seychelles

The Alipore Zoo here is all set to host a pair of giant tortoises from the island nation of Seychelles. They are expected to arrive later this week, an official said Thursday.

Kolkata: The Alipore Zoo here is all set to host a pair of giant tortoises from the island nation of Seychelles. They are expected to arrive later this week, an official said Thursday.

One of the largest tortoise species in the world, the Aldabra tortoises from the archipelago in the Indian Ocean will be placed in quarantine for 21 days once they arrive, said zoo director Kanailal Ghosh.

"We are not sure about the date but hopefully they (a male and a female) will be here later this week. After they are released from quarantine, we will house them in a suitable space," Ghosh told IANS.

The latest acquisition comes eight years 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 reportedly had a lifespan of 255 years.

The expected pair together weighs above 350 kg, according to Ghosh.

"Most likely they are mature ones. The average weight of one such tortoise is around 120 to 150 kg," he said.

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