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Big Al, An Aldabra Tortoise, Moves To A New Habitat At Zoo Knoxville


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An Aldabra tortoise, better known as Big Al, moves into his new summer home in Zoo Knoxville’s Arc.

Big Al
(Image Source: Facebook/Zoo Knoxville)

Big Al is among the oldest members of the zoo and is a prominent one. On the 18th of May 2021, which was a Tuesday, the big guy was all set to make his move to the new Amphibian and Reptile Conservative Campus (The ARC).

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The transportation process consisted of a forklift being used to move Big Al. He was quick to leave the crate and explore his new habitat. Subsequently, he came out the minute the crate doors were open.

Big Al might have been excited to see all the red cloves, which the zoo believes, is his favorite food. He made a home at Zoo Knoxville back in October 1974. His age, as per an estimate, is somewhere around 140 years and he weighs around 550 pounds. To carry the precious guy, a special box was made.

Since the Zoo opened, this new facility has been the largest project. It consists of 12,000-square-feet where more than 80 species are living. Hence, the idea was to replace the old and small reptile house.

Another name for the Aldabra tortoise is giant tortoise. Their color ranges from dark gray to black. Moreover, they have a highly domed thick carapace and a long neck. This helps them gather their food.

Giant tortoise
(Image Source: Facebook/Zoo Knoxville)

Male giant tortoise has larger and thicker tail in comparison to females.

Their diets mostly consist of vegetation. Nonetheless, they are flexible in their diets so they also feed on small invertebrates and carrions.

In the wild, tortoise can even knock down small trees and shrubs to obtain their nutrition.

Additionally, this species of tortoise is one of the longest-living animals on Earth. However, an exact number has not yet been provided. They can easily surpass the 100-year mark.

We hope Big Al lives a happy and healthy life in his new and improved home.


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