Science
5:30 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Rare Tortoises: Species Survival Plans At The Knoxville Zoo

Female (left) and Male (right) Radiated Tortoises at the Knoxville Zoo
Female (left) and Male (right) Radiated Tortoises at the Knoxville Zoo
Credit Photo by Chrissy Keuper

Michael Ogle, Assistant Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, with Radiated Tortoise, "O.G."
Michael Ogle, Assistant Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, with Radiated Tortoise, "O.G."
Credit Photo by Tina Rolen / Knoxville Zoo

  

In their more-than-200-million-year history on the planet, turtles and tortoises, like other reptiles, have changed very little… certainly not fast enough for a world that is quickly changing around them.

The Knoxville Zoo currently houses a number of reptiles under 20 Species Survival Plans, breeding programs designed to boost animal populations.

WUOT's Chrissy Keuper has this feature with Mike Ogle, the Knoxville Zoo’s Assistant Curator of Herpetology…

Ploughshare Tortoises at the Knoxville Zoo
Ploughshare Tortoises at the Knoxville Zoo
Credit Photo by Chrissy Keuper
Ploughshare Tortoise at the Knoxville Zoo / Keepers often mark the shell, or carapace, to identify the animal if it is stolen and/or smuggled.
Ploughshare Tortoise at the Knoxville Zoo / Keepers often mark the shell, or carapace, to identify the animal if it is stolen and/or smuggled.
Credit Photo by Chrissy Keuper

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