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Radiated Tortoise
photos by Gladys Porter Zoo

Radiated TortoiseScientific Name:
Astrochelys radiata

Status:
Critically Endangered

Distribution:
Madagascar

Radiated TortoiseHabitat:
Radiated tortoises are found in the spiny cactus and thorn forests of southern and southwestern Madagascar.

Diet:
They feed upon a variety of different grasses, fruits and the pads of prickly-pear cactus.

Radiated TortoiseGeneral Description:
Considered by many to be one of the world's most beautiful tortoises, they grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh up to 35 pounds.

Longevity:
They can live up to 100 years or more.


Radiated TortoiseBehavior:
When attacked by a predator the tortoise will pull itself inside its shell and let out a high pitched cry to scare the predator away.

Conservation:
An animal is classified as Critically Endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future. Threats to this species include habitat loss, collecting for pets, and poaching for its meat. To help save radiated tortoises from extinction the El Paso Zoo is working with other zoos in a conservation breeding program called the Species Survival Plan.

Radiated TortoiseAt the Zoo
The radiated tortoises came to El Paso from the Gladys Porter Zoo. They will be living early in 2011 inside the new El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Station.

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El Paso's Zoo Mission
Our mission is to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature.