Science Department Adopts Tortoise


Edan Zinn

Meet Hulk, the newest member of the School community.

Edan Zinn, Editor-in-Chief

The Middle and Upper School Science Department has taken in a 3-year-old pet tortoise.

When Anson Mancebo ’24 needed a home for his new friend, he turned to the School for help.

Biology teacher Jill Iuliano had always wanted a tortoise.

“I love turtles, so I said sure,” Iuliano said, regarding Mancebo’s request to take in the tortoise.,

The male Hermann’s tortoise, named Hulk by Mancebo, belongs to a species native to the Mediterranean, where the hot climate and sunny weather help the population grow.

Located in a wooden cage in Room 47, Hulk’s home is configured to be as similar as possible to his native habitat.

Hulk lives under full-spectrum heat lighting, and his diet consists of fruit, vegetable, and tortoise feed.

The cage features several inches of coconut substrate to allow Hulk to burrow and hide. Hulk is frequently bathed to remain hydrated.

The wild tortoise population has declined considerably due to habitat loss, car accidents, illegal hunting, and collecting for the warehouse pet trade.

Iuliano wants to take extra care of Hulk, and she hopes has a better life than the threatened tortoises who live in the wild.

Hermann’s tortoises have a lifespan of 60-90 years. For the time being, Hulk will be living in Room 47 with Iuliano. “Wherever I go, he’ll go with me,” she said.