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550lb Tortoise Happily Moves To Brand New Summer Home At Zoo Knoxville

Moved to Zoo Knoxville in October 1974, Big Al the Aldabra giant tortoise is a calm, placid guy that both the staff and visitors can’t help but adore. As one of the oldest members of the zoo, he has changed his place a few times, but the big move this summer is definitely one of the most memorable moments in his entire life.

Image source: Zoo Knoxville

In early May, Big Al’s caregivers have helped him move to the brand new Amphibian and Reptile Conservative Campus (The ARC) of the 53-acre zoo located just east of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. The 140-year-old tortoise already weighed about 550 pounds, so transporting him of course isn’t easy. In fact, they had to count on the help of a forklift and a special box to successfully move Big Al to his new habitat.

You can watch the full process here:

Thankfully, all of their efforts have been paid off. Big Al seems to be really fond of his new home – which is pretty understandable since it’s the biggest facility of Zoo Knoxville so far. Needless to say, Big Al isn’t the only living creature in this habitat. There are about over 80 other species there to befriend him in that 12,000-square-feet enclose.

Image source: Zoo Knoxville

The Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea), also known as the Aldabra tortoise, is native to the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles. About 100,000 Aldabra tortoises could be found there. They are often black or brown with high, domed carapaces.

Image source: Zoo Knoxville

True to their name, they are quite large. An adult Aldabra giant tortoise often measures about 36 in (91 cm) in length and weighs 351 lb (159 kg). That’s the reason why they have heavily scaled legs to support such a body. Furthermore, these admirable critters also own high, long necks to help them reach food more easily.

Image source: Zoo Knoxville

Isn’t Big Al charming? Please share his great news with your loved ones!

H/T: The Koala Bears

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