the toronto zoo

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. 

The Toronto Zoo Twitter account is documenting the whole excursion online accompanied by the hashtag #TOTortoiseTour, and they've already posted several adorable photos of Hank, Violet and Duke. 

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.

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.

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."

Lead photo by

The Toronto Zoo

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