scene of the contract signing ceremony
Philippe Le Gall, Seychelles Ambassador to China as well as the country's commissioner general for Expo 2010, gives a speech.
Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, gives a speech.
The Seychelles government today signed a contract with the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination to present two giant Aldabra Tortoises, one of the largest tortoises in the world, to the 2010 Expo.
The rare tortoises will be presented to celebrate the 60-year anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China this year and Shanghai's hosting of the Expo next year.
The tortoises will be raised at the Shanghai Zoo, Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said at the signing ceremony.
The gift is a sign of the supreme friendship between Seychelles and China, said Philippe Le Gall, Seychelles Ambassador to China as well as the country's commissioner general for Expo 2010. He appreciated China's financial assistance to help developing countries participate in the 2010 Expo.
Aldabra Tortoises symbolize power, health and longevity in Seychelles, Le Gall said.
The tortoise's upper shell averages 120 centimeters in length. The average weight of an adult male is around 250 kilograms. Large tortoises are among the longest-living species on the planet. The longest known life span of an Aldabra Tortoise is 255 years.