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A Day in the Life

Ollie the tortoise

November 16, 2012

Ollie the 36-pound northern leopard tortoise has been at the Academy for 20 years—longer than her keeper, Bar Carter. Ollie snoozes in the morning, waking up to relax in the spray of the hose the keepers use to clean other animals’ enclosures. When Carter cleans the green iguana enclosure, Ollie, who roams freely in the Center, sits behind the door and traps Carter inside—just for fun, of course! If Ollie smells lunch, she walks around until it’s her turn, almost always getting underfoot. She eats throughout the afternoon, returning to her bowl when she’s not basking under a warm light.

Ollie is the love interest of our male tortoise, Kobe, who follows Ollie all day, biting the back of her shell or knocking into her with his shell. She tolerates him, but she is more interested in the attention she receives from museum visitors. Stop by our children’s discovery center, Outside In, every Wednesday to see Ollie and her friends!

Originally published in the Fall 2012 issue of Academy Frontiers. Photo by Paul Jamrogowicz (Drexel University).