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Tortoise strapped with iPads leaves animal rights group upset

By Staff Reporter- 08 Aug '14 23:48PM
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  • Tortoise
  • (Photo : Wikipedia) A file photo of a tortoise

An art museum in Colorado, Aspen has landed in hot water after announcing plans to feature three tortoises with iPads mounted on their backs. The move has left animal rights activists upset.

The Aspen Art Museum released a statement Wednesday supporting the exhibit by Chinese-born Cai Guo-Qiang called "Moving Ghost Town." The exhibit opens Saturday as part of the public grand opening of the town's new $45 million museum.

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The Cai Guo-Qiang exhibit called Moving Ghost Town will open on Saturday as part of the US town's new $45-million museum.


The African Sulcata tortoises will roam the museum's roof garden. Each will have two iPads showing video of three area ghost towns, which the museum says were filmed by the animals.

The museum said the tortoises were rescued from a breeder and that a veterinarian is overseeing their care, and that their diet includes leafy vegetables. The iPads are on mounts attached with an epoxy used to attach tracking devices to wild animals, the museum said.

"It is not the Museum's practice to censor artists," spokeswoman Sara Fitzmaurice wrote in a statement.

"The three are being closely monitored, cared for, checked by a local veterinarian at regular intervals, and are being exhibited in consultation with the Turtle Conservancy," Fitzmaurice wrote.

However, the museum stands by the exhibit and says a veterinarian is overseeing their care. It says the iPads are on mounts attached with an epoxy used to attach tracking devices to wild animals.

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