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Here are some of the more interesting and strange zoo animals I have photographed over the years.

Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra Tortoise

The entire wild Aldabra population is found in the Aldabra Atoll, a small group of islands in the Seychelles. It is the only remaining species of tortoise out of 18 tortoise species that once lived on islands in the Indian Ocean. Not only does this tortoise live a long time, it weighs a lot. Females average 300 pounds and males 500 pounds. This makes it the largest animal in its environment.

Aldabra Tortoise

The Aldabra tortoise is one of the longest-living animals in the world. Reports of them living over 200 years are unsubstantiated, but one is known to have lived for 170 years. Thought the Aldabra feeds mainly on plants, it is opportunistic and may eat small invertebrates and dead animals in order to obtain enough nourishment.

Flamingos

Flamingos

The greater flamingo does not suffer from habitat destruction as much as many other shorebirds because its foraging and nesting sites are relatively diverse. The establishment of protected areas has also kept populations stable.
With encroaching human development and increases in pollution, today's stable flamingo populations may start to decline. To guard against this, many areas are developing artificial lagoons and islands.

Flamingos

Caribbean Flamingo

Caribbean Flamingo

The Caribbean flamingo is the largest and most colorful of the five different species. These wading birds can stretch up to 5 feet tall and weigh 4-8 pounds.

Caribbean Flamingo

All flamingo species are vulnerable to habitat change and exploitation. Caribbean flamingo are perhaps more threatened because nearly all breeding is restricted to only four major colonies around the Gulf of Mexico. Some of their prime breeding grounds are being destroyed by salt and soda mining operations which drain valuable wetlands.

Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater

Range: Central and South America. Giant anteaters have a set territory and a daily routine. They arise late morning and spend the day out and about, usually visiting the same places at the same time each day. In the evening they return to their favorite sleeping place, a flat trench or a depression under shade.
To catch an ant, you need a keen sense of smell, a long, slender snout, sharp front claws and a long thin tongue. The ant nest is carefully opened with one or two claw slashes and then the opening is expanded with the snout. Their 24-inch, wet tongue darts in and out, picking up insects with saliva and tiny bristles.

Giant Anteater
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