On show in the ‘Weird and Wonderful’ display are three 2011 hatched Horsefield’s tortoises. They are widely distributed from Russia to China. and Afghanistan. Across much of the range these small tortoises must survive long harsh winters and incredibly hot summers; they do this by hibernating during the winter and spending the hottest months in their burrows, so they may be active for as few as three months of the year.
Despite their large range they are listed as vulnerable species due to collection as food and for the pet trade, as well as loss of habitat to changes in farming.