Largest male turtle has a new home

July 22, 2009 4:53:36 AM PDT
The largest male Aldabra tortoise in North America has a new home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Rocket outgrew the zoo in Wichita, Kansas and moved Tuesday to the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum.

When his trailer arrived, the 80-year old tortoise was eager to get out.

His handlers helped as cameras surrounded him as he went down to the red carpet - a welcome suited for Wichita's most popular reptile.

Rocket weighs 609-pounds and is still growing.

He's much larger than the 5 tortoises in Tulsa, and to accommodate him - their pen will be expanded.

There will be no introductions until Rocket has passed a medical exam.

Rocket will come out of quarantine and be released to meet some of the female tortoises at the Tulsa Zoo.

He's never reproduced in captivity, but in Tulsa, he'll get his chance.

Now that Rocket's in a new home, Russ Becker will be one of his keepers.

Chris Hutson took care of Rocket in Wichita and today said his goodbyes.

Rocket will live in Tulsa for five years and zoo officials hope he'll leave some offspring behind.