Nashville Zoo Shell Station

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Nashville Zoo has a brand new interactive animal exhibit featuring Sulcata tortoises that children can enjoy meeting up close.

Children have a brand new interactive animal encounter to experience now open at Nashville Zoo.

Shell Station features up to 24 Sulcata tortoises ranging in age from 3 to 5 years old, and you can walk into their habitat to greet them up close. Kids can have fun touching the tortoises’ shells. A zoo keeper is available at all times to answer questions about these fascinating creatures.

Sulcata tortoises are native to the Sahara desert in North Africa. They are the third largest tortoise in the world and can live to be more than 70 years old. Because they are native in hot dry areas with no permanent water source, tortoises are well adapted for spending long periods of time without hydration. Sulcata tortoises are listed as Vulnerable by the International Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and wild populations are decreasing due to desertification, overgrazing, population expansion and the collection of wild tortoises for trade.

“Nashville Zoo is thrilled to add another immersive experience that engages our visitors and connects them to the wild in a hands-on way,” says Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president. “We thank Scott and Tracie Hamilton for funding this exhibit and adding another great educational opportunity for our guests.”

“We are so honored to be a part of Nashville Zoo’s growth,” said Tracie Hamilton. “This exhibit is another fine example of the Zoo’s ability to offer exceptional experiences to the Nashville community.”

Shell Station is open during the zoo’s regular hours, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. The exhibit is included with admission or membership. Zoo admission is $15 adults, $10 ages 2 – 12. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Road, Nashville. Call 615-833-1534 or visit



Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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