A couple of old timers showed up at on Gatorland Thursday, May 1, 2003, to the delight of employees and guests like Jared Graybill,2, from Michigan, but at 80 - 90-years-old the two Aldabra tortoises are just hitting midlife. The two males are an endangered species from Aldabra Island near Madagascar with each weighing in at 600-700 pounds. "I want Gatorland to be a part of world wide conservation as well as local conservation," said Flavio Morrissiey, General Curator at the attraction. "We have been wanting to get large tortoises for about six years now. We used to have large tortoses and wanted to have them again. The older generation remembers the tortoises when they came and want the next generations to see the same things." The pair are on permanentloan from Busch Gardens which means you should be able to visit them for the next 70 years. Gatorland hopes to start a breeding program at the park. The park has also been involved with rescue efforts involving rare turtles from around the world.
ED SACKETT, ORLANDO SENTINEL
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