360-DEGREE LIVES: Giant tortoises stay in shape with a diet of fruit and veg
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.
Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/360lives/), where you can watch all the previous videos.
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Giant tortoises weighing more than 150 kilograms appear quite frightening when captured up close by a 360-degree video camera weighing a mere 100 grams.
The tortoises are exhibited at iZoo, a facility devoted to reptiles that is located in Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture.
It is one of the primary breeding grounds in Japan for giant tortoises. Among the ones in its care is a Galapagos giant tortoise, an endangered species. Among the 40 or so other tortoises is a Aldabra giant tortoise.
Some have shells a full 130 centimeters in length.
The back of a small truck full of vegetables and fruits provides one day’s worth of feed for the tortoises.
The video camera was buried in the ground where the tortoises feed. Cabbage leaves and carrots were placed around the camera. About 10 giant tortoises converged on the area above the camera, scraping their shells against each other as they chowed down.
Visitors to iZoo can pet the giant tortoises. A 37-years-old man visited one autumn day from Osaka with his oldest son, a first-year junior high school student who adores the large tortoises.
« We cannot see Aldabra giant tortoises of this size at other facilities, » he said, while taking a photo of his family with the creatures.