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Friday 28.07.2017 | Name days: Cecīlija, Cilda
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Defence Minister candidate helps weigh tortoises in zoo

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For the fifteenth time Riga Zoological Garden has carried out a special event involving the weighing of Galapagos tortoises. The honour of lifting these massive animals was traditionally given to «professionals» of this craft under leadership of tortoise-lifting professor, Defence Minister candidate Raimonds Bergmanis.

22-year-old tortoises Trina and Chelsea were brought to Riga Zoological Garden in 1995. Raimonds Bergmanis first participated in their weighing in 2001, when the massive animals weighed around 40 kg each.

Now Trina’s weight is slightly above 92 kg and that of Chelsea is close to 90 kg. The two tortoises have lost weight in the last five years. This can be explained with changes in their diet. Zoo-keepers decided to reduce the proportion of vegetables on the menu in order to maintain the animals’ health and well-being. It was also decided to take the tortoises’ measurements in order to keep up with their growth, as these reptiles continue growing throughout their lives. However, their growth rate goes down a little once their reach adulthood, as confirmed by the zoo.

Chelsea’s weight has dropped from 87 kg to 85 kg. After taking measurements, zoo-keepers found that the girl is 1 m long and 1.10 m wide. Trina’s weight has dropped from 101 kg to 92 kg; she is 1.12 m long and 1.19 m wide.

The men that lifted the tortoises were weighed as well. As it turned out, Bergmanis has lost weight as well: from 137 kg in 2014 to 133 kg in 2015.

Other notable participants of the event include Latvian Olympian Voldemars Luses, veteran of the Latvian strongmen movement Agris Kazelniks and the country’s strongest men: Didzis Zarins and Dainis Zageris.

Over the course of time, tortoise weighing was carried out by Olympian Viktor Sherbatikh, Latvian champion in mountain wife carrying Aivars Visockis, strong-wife Jolanta Logina, Agris Kazelniks, Raivis Vidzis and many others.

The Galapagos tortoises are commonly found on the Galapagos Islands. Five out of the 15 sub-species of these reptiles that once inhabited those islands have gone extinct. Their population was devastated by frequent hunts. Males of these tortoises reach 225 kg in weight. Females, on the other hand, reach 150 kg in the wild. Life expectancy is 150 years and more.

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