LI Game Farm ‘shell-a-brates’ tortoise exhibit opening


African spurred tortoises are on the “vulnerable” list.  The rescued tortoises have a new sanctuary at the Long Island Game Farm that opened on May 26.  On hand for the ribbon-cutting was Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine, Brookhaven Town councilman Dan Panico, Manorville Chamber of Commerce president Karen Dunne, and the sponsors of the new exhibit from Symbiotic Landscaping, Charlene Carrano and Brian Jurgens.  Two additional new sponsors this year include Rosann and Jim Naples from East Bay Builders (Giraffe House renovation and new gift shop), and New York Shed Company (new Comfort Station for baby changing and nursing mothers).                   

African spurred tortoises are also known as sulcatas, named for the Latin word meaning “furrows,” that the tortoises have on their scales.  According to the IUCN, the world’s largest conservation organization, African spurred tortoises are on the “vulnerable” list because their populations are compromised as the result of habitat loss and over-collection from the pet industry.  They are adorable when they are babies, but rapidly grow to nearly 200 pounds and live up to 80 years!  It’s a good idea to think carefully before acquiring any wild animals as household pets.  There aren’t too many places like the Long Island Game Farm available for rehabilitating and re-homing exotic animals.  A group of tortoises is called a “creep,” and according to owner Melinda Novak, their creep is just getting acclimated to their new quarters, and to one another!  The game farm is not ready for any new rescues at this time.  But enclosures like this, built with the sponsorship-collaboration of Symbiotic Landscaping, “really helps us do this necessary rescue and rehab work,” said Novak.  “Hosting safe, beautiful and state-of-the art exhibits are a win for the animals, and the many guests who visit us each year who love to learn about our wild inhabitants here at the game farm… going into our 52nd year!”

The Long Island Game Farm is open seven days a week and is located at 489 Chapman Boulevard, Manorville, N.Y.  For further information, please email or call 631-878-6670.


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