Shelling Out Tasty Treats

May 23 was World Turtle Day and the Virginia Zoo’s diet expert Chef Yohn shellebrated with some turtley awesome Animeals for two of our Radiated tortoises, Antano and Narivo.

Housed in a behind-the-scenes area, these two tortoises spend most of their day napping, exploring their digs and munching on anything they can find. On average, these tortoises eat 10% of their body weight and are always interested in new foods their Keepers place around their yard.

Chef Yohn came up with a simple, yet nutritional recipe that satisfies all of the required foods in the tortoises’ diets. Antano and Narivo both receive a daily combined diet of 400 grams of tortoise chow, 380 grams of mixed vegetables and fruits, and 600 grams of greens. For this particular meal, Yohn made what he likes to call “Tortoilla Wraps”. Read what he put into the recipe and how it turned out!

tortoilla wraps


• 400g tortoise chow

• 380g mixed vegetables: green beans, carrots and sweet potato

• 24g blueberries

• 600g green leaf lettuce


Step 1: Weigh out all ingredients.

Step 2: Blend the mixed vegetables and tortoise chow into a mash.

Step 3: Lay out 1-2 leaves of lettuce, and top with a little mash and a few blueberries.

Step 4: Wrap up the ingredients and tie with a small sliver of lettuce to keep the mash and blueberries inside.

Step 5: Repeat until all ingredients are used.

Step 6: Serve to the tortoises, Narivo (left) and Antano (right)!

Join us next month when Pete the Tree shrew has his own Animeals!