Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: February 6, 2022 9:20 pm
Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta shared the sad news today that their Aldabra giant tortoise Patches has passed away at an estimated age between 70 and 80.
Patches had been part of the Zoo Atlanta family since 1998 when she arrived from another accredited facility. At the zoo she lived with two other tortoises, male Shuffles and female Corky, also believed to be in their 70s to 80s.
While the tortoises may seem old they are considered middle aged with some living to be over 100 years old.
Shuffles had been treated in the days leading up to her passing for lethargy, fluid build-up, lack of appetite, and weakness. A CT scan revealed multiple heath concerns, including a large mass in her body cavity. Due to concerns around her physical health vets made the decision to euthanize her on February 5th 2022.
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“We are very saddened by the loss of Patches. She was a wonderful link for so many people to the fascination of reptiles and to the key role that tortoises play in their ecosystems wherever they are found,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation.
“It is not difficult to make connections with an animal such as a gorilla or a giant panda or a giraffe. Some people find it more challenging to connect with reptiles, which makes Patches’ legacy all the more extraordinary. She had a personality on par with her size, and she will be dearly missed.”
Through their partnership with the University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine a necropsy or autopsy will be performed.
Aldabra tortoises are found on the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean off of Africa's east coast. They are the second largest tortoise species on Earth.