Torte the African spurred tortoise came to the zoo in 1999. He was one of the first animals that lived in the Education Center after it was built. He started off living in a small aquarium and now resides in a large room designed just for him. He enjoys his meals of vegetables and fruit and taking long walks around the center while the keepers are cleaning.
- The African spurred tortoise is the third largest mainland tortoise in the world and can reach up 36 inches in length and 150 pounds.
- In Senegal the African spurred tortoise is a symbol of virtue, happiness fertility, and longevity.
- It digs burrows 30 inches deep and tunnels that can extend 10 feet or more.
Listed as an endangered species and has special protection in its natural habitat in Africa.
Threats to the African spurred tortoise are capture for the pet trade as well as habitat loss due to urbanization and overgrazing by livestock.