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Honolulu Zoo celebrates tortoises’ 100th birthdays

  • COURTESY HONOLULU ZOO

    Kim the tortoise at the Honolulu Zoo. Three of the Honolulu Zoo’s Galapagos tortoises — Jaws, Charlotte and Kim — celebrate their 100th birthdays this weekend.

The Honolulu Zoo is celebrating the 100th birthday for three of its Galapagos tortoises — Jaws, Charlotte and Kim — on Earth Day this weekend.

For Sunday’s birthday festivities, the zoo will hold a parade from its Great Lawn to the tortoise exhibit at 1:30 p.m., where the three tortoises will be presented with their favorite treat — a giant fruitcake.

Jaws, a male tortoise, and Charlotte and Kim, female tortoises, were collected from the wild by Charles Townsend of the New York Zoological Society, who donated them to Honolulu Zoo as juveniles in July 1929. The three are the most senior residents at the zoo.

The tortoises, hunted to near extinction during the 18th and 19th centuries, are now protected by the Ecuadorian government.

In 1954, the Honolulu Zoo was the first to successfully hatch Galapagos tortoises and currently houses 10 of them, with the youngest being 47 years old.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hawaii Wildlife Center will be on hand at the zoo for the Earth Day celebration, which includes animal encounters, keiki games and vendor booths. Visit honoluluzoo.org for more information.

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