The Toronto Zoo is taking three adorable tortoises on a tour of the city
Toronto has plenty to offer when it comes to beautiful outdoor spaces, and today the Toronto Zoo is taking three adorable tortoises on a tour of some of these spots throughout the city.
Tomorrow we commence #TOTortoiseTour as we take radiated tortoises Duke, Violet and Hank around the city to visit some of your favourite Toronto attractions! Follow our journey tomorrow starting at 9am🐢👀 pic.twitter.com/RqmIrO5U2G— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) June 23, 2020
The tour kicked off this morning at the Toronto Botanical Garden, and photos and videos posted to Twitter show the three tortoises wandering through the grass and munching on some greens.
According to the zoo, 80 to 90 per cent of their diet is grasses, fruit and succulent plants — which they clearly had no trouble finding at the garden this morning.
First stop: @TBG_Canada! 🌱🌸 Just in time for breakfast, this place seems to have the type of food we like. Did you know 80-90% of our diet is grasses, fruit and succulent plants? - Hank, Violet and Duke 🐢#TOTortoiseTour pic.twitter.com/MsdOVDo322— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) June 24, 2020
The second stop on the tortoise tour is Aga Khan Museum, where the tortoises clearly enjoyed the beautiful outdoor grounds.
Anyone interested in following along with the TO Tortoise Tour throughout the day can check the Twitter thread for adorable photos and updates.
And this tour isn't the only thing the zoo is doing for Toronto's turtles.
Just yesterday, the zoo, along with Environment Minister Jeff Yurek, released 57 Blanding's turtles into the wild at Rouge National Urban Park.
Photos posted to Twitter Tuesday show adorable baby turtles being released into the water at the park, and Yurek wrote online that the provincial government has committed $183,000 through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program to support the zoo's conservation efforts.
Spent a 🌧 rainy 🌧 afternoon helping the @TheTorontoZoo release 57 Blanding’s turtles 🐢 into the wild at @RNUP_NOW! To support the Zoo’s efforts, our government has committed $183,000 through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program. 🐢 #SaveTheTurtles @ParksCanada @TRCA_HQ pic.twitter.com/wn2TqbwVoD— Jeff Yurek (@JeffYurekMPP) June 23, 2020
In a video posted online, Toronto Zoo CEO Dolf DeJong said the turtles are native to the Rouge Valley, and 10 years ago they counted just seven of them in the area.
He also said the zoo chose to name three of the turtles after Mayor John Tory, Dr. Eileen de Villa and Chief Matthew Pegg in order to acknowledge their work on the city's COVID-19 response.
The remaining 53 turtles were named after frontline workers from the Scarborough Health Network.
"Every year we pick a theme for naming these animals and this year, it's our healthcare and COVID-19 heroes," DeJong says in the video.
"These Blanding's turtles are raised at our zoo and released after two years to help reestablish wild populations right in our Rouge Valley."
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