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Racing Tortoises Take Off At `Zoopolis 500'

Tortoises at the Indianapolis Zoo will be racing toward a big bowl of fruit once the checkered flag is waved on May 26.

Tortoises at the Indianapolis Zoo will be racing toward a big bowl of fruit once the checkered flag is waved on May 26.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 17:10 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Professional racecars aren’t the only speed demons hitting the Indianapolis track this month.

On May 26, just days before the Indy 500, the Indianapolis Zoo will host the 29th annual “Zoopolis 500,” an action- packed race where radiated tortoises crawl towards the finish line.

Waiting for them on the other side is a big bowl of fresh fruit.

Zoo spokesperson Maura Giles says the race isn’t as speedy as the Indy 500, but it’s just as exciting.

Large crowds gather to cheer on the tortoises, who can take upwards of 30 minutes to reach the end.

This year, Giles says each turtle will be named after a real- life racecar driver and an actual Indy Speedway announcer will narrate all the action.

She thinks all racing tortoises stand a fair chance, especially since two of their biggest champions recently retired.

They’ll be taking off from a slightly inclined slope this time, which should give them all a little power push.

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