May 23 is World Turtle Day and Gatorland®, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” is inviting the public to come and get to know their three resident tortoises, which are among the largest tortoise species in the world. Dean is a 102-year-old Aldabra Tortoise weighing 500 pounds. Kendrick is a 57-year-old Sulcata African Spurred Tortoise, weighing in at 200 pounds and Lucy, is a 29-year-old Galapagos Tortoise that weights 300 pounds.
The American Tortoise Rescue organization established World Turtle Day in 2000 to raise global awareness about the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. For more information, go to www.worldturtleday.org.
Gatorland has a long history with giant tortoises that began in 1959 when park founder, Owen Godwin, acquired a 400-pound giant tortoise named Albert who lived into the late 70s, to be over 100 years old. Then came Albert II, who Owen’s son, Frank Godwin, purchased from a private owner in Ft. Myers. Albert II survived the big freeze of 1984 when the family brought him inside their house to keep warm. Albert II passed away in 2006.
“Our giant tortoises are an important part of our history and ongoing animal education here at Gatorland,” said Mark McHugh, Gatorland’s President & CEO. “People rarely have a chance to see them in the wild, and we are proud to provide guests with a unique opportunity to meet them and learn about them.” Gatorland offers guests an opportunity to feed the giant tortoises for just $5.
Gatorland is a 100-acre theme park combining Old Florida charm with exciting experiences, exhibits, and entertainment. The park originally opened as a roadside attraction in 1949. Today, it provides affordably-priced family fun featuring thousands of alligators and crocodiles, breeding marsh with observation tower, free-flight aviary, nature walk, petting zoo, educational wildlife programs, award-winning gift shop, Florida’s best train ride, Gator Gully Splash Park, on-site restaurant and one-of-a-kind shows including Gator Jumparoo and Up-close Encounters. Popular adventure experiences inside the park include the Screamin’ Gator Zipline and Stompin’ Gator Offroad adventure.
For more Gatorland information, visit us online at www.gatorland.com or call 800-393-JAWS.