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Image by Dickerson Park Zoo
From A Press Release-
A new home for the tortoise exhibit has opened at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield.
The 1,070-square foot building houses the zoo's four Aldabra Tortoises, on of the world's largest land turtle species, weighing 250-550 pounds each. Since they arrived in 1979 and 1980, these giant tortoises were only visible to the public while outside during the warmer months. Because they are cold-blooded, the tortoises must move indoors and,formerly, off-exhibit during cold weather.
The new building allows zoo visitors to see the tortoises year round. The building has two rooms, allowing males and females to spend time together or apart. It includes water pools, a sand pit for potential egg-laying and special rubber-cushioned flooring for the comfort and health of the animals.
"The new building gives us the option of separating the males and females, which will improve our odds of successful breeding," said Mike Crocker, Director of Dickerson Park Zoo.
A pyramid skylight provides natural light and enhances the appearance of the building. The building connects to the summer exhibit yard.
The project is a part of Dickerson Park Zoo's last and newest master plan. H-Design Group designed the facility and Masonry Structures, Inc. was the general contractor. The approximately $300,000 project was funded by the 2006 voter-approved 1/4-cent Countywide Parks Sales Tax.
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