1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Locale of St. Louis Zoo Yellowfoot Tortoises?

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Michael231, Jun 30, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    It is well known that yellow foot tortoises (Chelonoidis denticulata) get to a medium size in nature compared to most tortoises (averaging 30-45 cm in most locales). However, in almost every corner of the species range there seems to be a tortoise or two that grows to immense proportions. Specimens reaching 70-80 cm are not unheard of both in range and in US captive collections. However, the record for this species size is almost beyond belief. The individual at the St. Louis Zoo that is 94 cm and exactly 200 pounds (90 kg) holds the record for size. While she is the largest individual, the male that lives with her is not far behind at 154 pounds (70 kg).

    Where did these two St. Louis Zoo tortoise come from though? There seems to be a general idea that they are Peruvian in origin? What is the basis for that? When one goes to the zoo's main webpage they don't mention how large their tortoises are which I find somewhat odd given that they could potentially be a big attraction!

    It would be very interesting to track down the locales of these individuals!

    [​IMG]
    -Image of St. Louis zoo female with Aldabra in the background...
    From: https://www.google.com/search?q=st+...AUIECgB&biw=1280&bih=610#imgrc=0r36aTf04Or-yM:

    For more pictures of giant yellowfoots and redfoots go to @jabutipaulistano on Instagram...

    Where could these individuals have come from....

    Any thoughts?
    C. Nelson, JTExotics and Billna the 2 like this.
  2. Billna the 2

    Billna the 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2018
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Smoaks sc
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    That's abit fascinating, I wonder...I'm gonna do some research on this
    JTExotics and Michael231 like this.
  3. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    It is quite unusual! The one pictured is the largest ever recorded as of yet...

    Specimens reaching 70-80 cm have been found at zoos across the species South American range. I’ve heard of a group that were located in a Peruvian zoo and another group that was in a zoo in Venezuela, but none have been reported larger than the St. Louis Zoo specimen!

    Let us know what you find out about these tortoises!

    Also check out @JTEexotics forum post at: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/true-giant-yellow-foot-tortoises.172727/ for more pictures and more discussion on this topic.
    C. Nelson, JTExotics and Billna the 2 like this.
  4. Billna the 2

    Billna the 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2018
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Smoaks sc
    Ok I will do so
    JTExotics and Michael231 like this.
  5. JTExotics

    JTExotics Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lewes, DE
    I’d think they come from a locale that produces giants, since they both are very large and probably came from the same spot. It would be awesome if it turtles out to be a spot full of giants!
    Michael231 likes this.
  6. SPILL

    SPILL Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location (City and/or State):
    Illinois
    They are truly amazing in person. They are so large that it took me a couple of minutes to realize that there was something other than Aldabras in the pen.
    Michael231 likes this.
  7. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    I believe it! That’s crazy! Any ideas on where they may have come from? When you were there did anyone seem to realize that they were record sized tortoises?
  8. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    Whoops, meant to reply to @SPILL
  9. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    That’s crazy! I believe it! Any idea on where they may have come from? Did anyone there seem to realize that they were record sized tortoises?
  10. SPILL

    SPILL Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location (City and/or State):
    Illinois
    Everyone was distracted by a pair of Aldabras mating. My wife and I commented to each other that we didn't even know they got that big although we were unaware that they are record holders. We didn't notice a plaque or any indication that they are record setters. You would think they would make people aware since there is still a statue of Phil, the largest gorilla ever recorded, who passed at the zoo in 1958.

    The keeper in charge of their turtles and tortoises is there to chat with the public on World Turtle Day, May 23 each year if that is of interest to anyone.
    Michael231 likes this.
  11. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
    That is really quite odd that they don't acknowledge how large they are! You'd think as a zoo they would be all over having plaques about that...
  12. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    4,619
    Likes Received:
    3,588
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
  13. Michael231

    Michael231 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    California
  14. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    4,619
    Likes Received:
    3,588
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    I have no specific basis for speculation beyond what I offered.
    Michael231 likes this.
  15. C. Nelson

    C. Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Grand Junction, CO
    WOW! Thanks for sharing. I didn't think this was possible.
    JTExotics and Michael231 like this.
  16. Jacqui

    Jacqui Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises Moderator 10 Year Member!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    39,189
    Likes Received:
    12,335
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    A Land Far Away...
    Me too! Wasn't impressed with the enclosure, when I saw them.
    JTExotics, SPILL and Michael231 like this.
  17. theTurtleRoom

    theTurtleRoom Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lititz, PA
    So, locale for these animals is unknown (I'm friends with a few of the reptile folks at St. Louis Zoo and was in the enclosure with these animals and one of their keepers in June). These animals are believed to be hermaphroditic. Neither has laid eggs, nor do they have obvious male characteristics. In turtles, hermaphrodism often leads to greater-than-normal size, which adds to the belief they are hermaphroditic.

    Steve Enders
    President/Executive Director, theTurtleRoom
  18. C. Nelson

    C. Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Grand Junction, CO

    Interesting!! Thanks for posting!
Similar Threads: Locale Louis
Forum Title Date
General Tortoise Discussion Reputable Breeders in New Orleans, Louisiana Jun 25, 2015
General Tortoise Discussion Learning my state (Louisiana) laws Dec 6, 2013
General Tortoise Discussion louis made it on the reptile report Mar 12, 2013
General Tortoise Discussion cheapest Louis Vuitton handbags Jul 16, 2011
General Tortoise Discussion this is an old picture of a box turtle i had in st louis when i was a kid May 16, 2011

Share This Page