100-Year-Old Tortoise Leaves San Diego for Ohio

The Galapagos tortoise is taking his turtle power to Toledo

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego Zoo Global
    Emerson, 100, on his last day at the San Diego Zoo

    At 100 years old, Emerson the tortoise is ready for a lifestyle change.

    The 400-plus-pound Galapagos tortoise is trading the San Diego sunshine for all four seasons in Toledo, Ohio.

    “We just had a partnership with them [the Toledo Zoo], and they had room for one and they needed one,” said Jonny Carlson, reptile keeper at the San Diego Zoo.

    Photo credit: San Diego Zoo Global

    On Wednesday, San Diego zookeepers coaxed Emerson into his crate with a trail of carrots. The tortoise landed in Ohio later that night. He spent Thursday slowly and steadily exploring his new habitat.

    Emerson is Toledo’s first tortoise in three decades, but Carlson says living alone will suit him just fine.

    “He is so active, and the other tortoises kind of get in his way sometimes,” Carlson said.

    Galapagos tortoises can live to be 150 years old, according to the San Diego Zoo.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Galapagos tortoises as “vulnerable” because their eggs are often eaten by other animals.

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