The El Paso community is invited to see the Galapagos tortoise, Elvis, one last time before he is moved to the Phoenix Zoo.

The El Paso Zoo’s male Galapagos tortoise, Elvis, will be on exhibit at the zoo through Thursday, October 27, before moving to the Phoenix Zoo.

Elvis is a 65-year-old Galapagos tortoise who has been at the El Paso Zoo since 1991. The transfer of Elvis is a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program. Population scientists working with the Species Survival Program have discovered a potentially valuable breeding program for the tortoise with a female of matching subspecies at the Phoenix Zoo.

It was recently discovered that Ralph, the 100-year-old male Galapagos tortoise at the Phoenix Zoo, is not the same subspecies as the female. Ralph therefore is coming to El Paso as a companion to the Zoo’s remaining Galapagos tortoise, Mr. Potato Head. Phoenix Zoo staff will transport Ralph to El Paso and will return to Phoenix with Elvis.

Ralph, the new tortoise arriving at the zoo, will be in quarantine for at least 30 days and will not be visible to visitors. After his quarantine, zookeepers will work to introduce him slowly to Mr. Potato Head before they go on exhibit together. Slow introductions are a common practice throughout zoos for the safety and well-being of the animals.

The Species Survival Program’s mission is to conserve species such as the Galapagos tortoise. These tortoises are currently listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM. There are about 10,000 to 15,000 tortoises living on the Galápagos Islands.

Elvis will be on exhibit at the El Paso Zoo now through Thursday, October 27, before moving to the Phoenix Zoo.