Between making the world’s slowest grand entrance and catching up with his six tortoise roommates, Twelve the 285-pound Galápagos tortoise, enjoyed a decadent spread of fruits and veggies.

Meghan Overdeep
July 27, 2018
Dallas Zoo

Nobody throws a party like animal lovers!

This week the Dallas Zoo threw the sweetest “Welcome Home” party for one of their biggest, slowest moving residents, a 30-year-old Galápagos tortoise named Twelve. Zoo staff pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 285-pound gentle giant’s triumphant return to his habitat from a 16-month hospital stay to treat a slow-healing pressure wound.

Between making the world’s slowest grand entrance and catching up with his six tortoise roommates, Twelve enjoyed a decadent spread of fruits and veggies. The crew of dedicated keepers who kept him happy, comfortable and enriched during his extended hospital stay looked on happily as he settled right back into the swing of things.

In a Facebook post accompanying a video of the festivities, the Dallas Zoo explained how last year Twelve developed a pressure wound on the underside of his right rear leg that would not heal, causing him lameness. After multiple surgeries, outside consultations with human doctors on wound care, and the use of innovative electromagnetic pulse therapy, he was finally given a clean bill of health this past week.

But getting him there took a village.

“Throughout Twelve’s hospital stay, hospital keepers went to great lengths to ensure the massive, grass-loving tortoise was comfortable and enriched, which included growing special grass for him to enjoy indoors during the winter months with UV lights to keep him warm,” the zoo wrote.

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Welcome home, Twelve!