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Giant Galapagos Tortoise Returns Home to Dallas Zoo Following 16-Month Treatment

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A huge homecoming party is being held today (Thursday, July 26) at the Dallas Zoo for an equally huge resident. A 285-pound Galapagos tortoise identified as “12” has just returned to the zoo. This follows a 16-month stay at A.H. Meadows Animal Health Care Facility for treatment of a leg wound.

12 came home to his ZooNorth habitat and joined his six other Galapagos tortoise Texas counterparts at 9:30 a.m. today. To share in their excitement, the Dallas Zoo staff have a “Welcome Home” party planned in his honor, including a banner cake. Local media outlet NBC DFW featured the creature in a spring 2017 report when he was just commencing his treatment for “lameness” in one of his rear appendages.

This huge tortoise took four zoo staff members to push him across the facility on a cart, which also required that he use his front legs to aide in shuffling along. One zoo staff member has stated that eventually, 12 will grow to approximately 600 pounds at full size! It was determined in treatment via X-ray that although 12 didn’t have any broken bones, he was suffering from a soft tissue injury. For his treatment, he remained in the hospital until now. “Due to the location and the nature of the wound, and the slow healing rate for reptiles in general, 12’s case proved to be challenging but Dallas Zoo’s animal care team gave him the expert care he needed to fully heal,” a zoo spokesperson told nbcdfw.com.