Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taipei Zoo’s ‘hero tortoise’ makes TV news in the US

Staff writer, with CNA

The story of a tortoise at Taipei Zoo that helped another one flip over made headlines on ABC News in the US on Tuesday.

A video of the stranded tortoise on its back, being tipped over by another one, attracted 1.51 million hits on YouTube and drew the attention of ABC News after it was posted by Audi Yu on Nov. 25.

Posted under the title “See a Hero Tortoise Help a Friend Get Back on Its Feet,” the video shows a tortoise using its head to nudge the other one until it flips onto its feet, to huge applause from a crowd of spectators.

Yu said he noticed the tortoises while he was accompanying his daughter on a school field trip to Taipei Zoo and he shot the video to show her that helping others is the key to happiness.

Taipei Zoo spokesman Tsao Hsien-shao (曹先紹) said the two creatures in the video are sulcata tortoises that are endemic to the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in North Africa and are the third-largest species of tortoise in the world.

They are a protected species, but Taipei Zoo has more than 100 of them, he said, adding that the video must have been shot at an outdoor enclosure near where the African lions are housed.

The enclosure mimics the natural habitat of the tortoises and it is not unusual for them to fall on their backs, Tsao said.

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