However, as we got a little closer, I realized that the large rock he was climbing was actually another tortoise. The kids both stopped and stared at the male tortoise as he made steady grunting, bark-like noises. Maggie commented, "I'm not touching that one! He's mad about something." Chris and I just gave each other "the look" and ushered the kids inside the herpaquarium. After looking at the snakes and frogs and iguanas and turtles, I said to Chris, "how fast do you think we can get them out the door?"
Apparently, not fast enough. The male turtle was still rhythmically barking away as we exited the building and Maggie again stopped to comment. "He is sure upset about something! He's really angry, isn't he, Mommy? Maybe it's because that other tortoise won't get out of his way."
"Hmm...could be," I responded - while trying not to laugh at the look Chris was giving me. As we went on to the next exhibit, Maggie again asked, "Mommy - why was the tortoise doing that?" I began to figure she understood that there was a deeper explanation that what I had been offering, so I finally told the truth. I explained that they were trying to make tortoise babies. I explained that is what they had to do for the tortoise to get pregnant and lay eggs with baby tortoises in them.
She digested this truth for a moment and then said, "to make babies, he has to climb on her back and make weird noises?" Not wanting to continue the discussion any further, I just replied, "Yep - that's about right." She then said, "Are you just kidding me?" I laughed and assured her I was telling her the truth....but I am not sure she believed me.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ZOO - - A GREAT PLACE FOR KIDS TO LEARN FIRSTHAND ABOUT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM