Louie, a nine year old, 25 pound, African Spurred Tortoise, was introduced to Southeast Junior High students today. Michael Vena is a student assistant at SJHS from PSU and brought the tortoise by. Mr. Vena said this species can grow up to 250 pounds and live more than 200 years so Louie has to be willed to family members or eventually donated to a zoo.
Mr. Vena also owns dogs and said they initially didn’t know what to do with Louie, but they are now very protective of him.
Mr. Vena said when Louie is older and larger he will conserve as much energy as possible, but at this age is surprisingly active. When it’s warm enough, Louie is outside and has his own daily routine where he walks the same path numerous times every day, grazes on grass throughout the day, and will even put himself to bed in the evening. He’s treated with fruit and vegetables, especially dark greens like broccoli.
Louie enjoys getting his shell scratched and patted (gently), and has an instinct to flip other tortoises who are on their backs so he enjoys pushing a basketball around.