Emerson (at the Toledo Zoo) is Galapagos tortoise #30. Even though he is well into Galapagos tortoise middle age at 115 (GT lifespan being about 200 years or a bit more), he is still a vital part of the zoo breeding program for the species and needs an ID number so he can be introduced to suitable lady tortoises at reasonable intervals. (You go, Emerson.)
I was charmed by this low tech white-paint-on-the-shell numbering system, which seems so much more “tortoise-y” than the bar code or RFID tag one might expect after watching more than a few nature documentaries.
What number is painted on Thoreau (or Melville), the Galapagos tortoise at Kekionga’s Stone Bridge Zoo? I feel like this is a very important question.