Radiated Tortoise

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION/RANGE: 
Madagascar

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

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

THREATS IN THE WILD: 
Collecting for the pet trade and for their meat

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. 

DID YOU KNOW? 
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. The radiated tortoises came to El Paso from the Gladys Porter Zoo.   

MORE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS: 
We have two radiated tortoises living outside the El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Station.  They came to El Paso from the Gladys Porter Zoo where they were hatched in March of 2006.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS: 
Read about radiated tortoises online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the Zoo and in the wild.  

JUST FOR KIDS: 
How many kinds of turtles and tortoises can you find at the El Paso Zoo? Watch for them during the warmer months of the year in the Americas Exhibit next to the prairie dogs, across from the Reptile House at the Galapagos Tortoise Exhibit, and in small enclosures nearby. Watch for news of a new turtle pond being planned for near the Reptile House by liking the Zoo on Facebook.