The Shell Station, our newest interactive exhibit featuring Sulcata tortoises, opens to the public this Saturday, July 4.
“Nashville Zoo is thrilled to add another immersive experience that engages our visitors and connects them to the wild in a hands-on way,” said Rick Schwartz, Zoo president. “We thank Scott and Tracie Hamilton for funding this exhibit and adding another great educational opportunity for our guests.”
The Shell Station features up to 24 Sulcata tortoises that range in age from three to five years old. Visitors are permitted in the exhibit and can walk around with the tortoises and touch their shell. Zoo keepers will be available at all times to answer questions and supervise the area.
“We are so honored to be a part of Nashville Zoo’s growth,” said Tracie Hamilton. “This exhibit is another fine example of the Zoo’s ability to offer exceptional experiences to the Nashville community.”
The Shell Station is open during the Zoo’s regular hours, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. beginning July 4. The exhibit is included with admission or membership.
Sulcata tortoises are native to the Sahara desert in North Africa. They are the third largest tortoise in the world and can live to be over 70 years old. Because they are native in hot dry areas with no permanent water source, tortoises are well adapted for spending long periods of time without hydration. Sulcata tortoises are listed as Vulnerable by the International Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and wild populations are decreasing due to desertification, overgrazing, population expansion and the collection of wild tortoises for trade.