July 25 - Riga zoo invites famous athletes to help weigh two rare giant tortoises. The once routine procedure is now a public show as the tortoises have grown in size. Tara Cleary reports.
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Crowds gather at Riga zoo for the annual weigh-in.
Two giant Galapagos tortoises are about to be surprised.
Tortoise weighing is a heavy job, usually carried out by Latvia's strongest men.
But this year strongman Raimonds Bergmanis was joined by the only strongwoman in the Baltic States who competes against men, Jolanta Logina.
SOUNDBITE: Jolanta Logina, strongwoman, saying (Latvian):
"In contests it's not enough to have strength, you need to think how to lift. As in this case - the tortoise weighs 80 kilograms, but it does not mean that you just lift it like heavy stone, because it can move, kick or bite you, and you are not allowed to drop it."
The two rare female tortoises, aged 18 and 19-years-old, weigh 84 and 111 kilograms respectively, which zoo representative, Ingmars Lidaka says is absolutely normal.
SOUNDBITE: Ingmars Lidaka, Riga Zoo representative, saying (Latvian):
"It is not our aim to beat any record; our aim is for the tortoises to be healthy. This is the main thing. Then, if they gain some weight it means their health condition is alright."
Male Galapagos tortoises can reach a weight of 270 kilograms or nearly 600 pounds and females 150 kilograms.
Which means these two might need extra weight training before next year's heavy lifting.
Tara Cleary, Reuters.
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