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Lunchtime at Amaru

Galapagos tortoises, for whom Ecuador’s famous islands are named, can live to be over 100 years old.  This tortoise, at Zoológico Amaru in northeastern Cuenca, is over 80 years old, and because she’s blind in one eye, requires assistance with her meals.  Tortoises aren’t known for their speed, and the same could be said for eating.  This elderly female took her time taking bites of the papaya and canteloupe we offered her, chewing slowly as the juice leaked down her mouth onto her chest and bubbled out her nose.  Occasionally she would take a break, retreating partway into her shell and making dinosaur-esque sounds as she prepared herself for more, before stretching our her neck to find the next tasty bite.  

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Taken on January 27, 2012