Author Archives: Benny The Tortoise

About Benny The Tortoise

Hi! My name is Benny the Tortoise and my home is The Art Farm in the City! Not only is it a home for me and over 50 of my animal friends, but The Art Farm is also an amazing, eco-friendly treasure for kids offering NYC's only indoor petting zoo. The Art Farm offers all kinds of unique classes and drop-in opportunities.

Meet 3 New Animals Through the Eyes of Benny The Tortoise!

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Hi! I am Benny The Tortoise, and I live at The Art Farm In The City. Living in NYC as a tortoise has been such a crazy experience! I get the incredible opportunity to live with over 50 amazing animals from all over the world. I am a very tech-savvy tortoise, so I thought I would use my skills and share fun facts about 3 of my friends!   I also added a few activities for you to enjoy with your family as well!

1. The Bunny Rabbit!

bunny rabbit

While I consider myself one of the favorite animals of the farm, I have to admit, our bunny rabbits are pretty popular as well! Our rabbits are fairly clean animals, for starters. They groom themselves and sometimes their rabbit friends! I see our amazing animal staff brush the rabbit’s soft, pretty fur to help keep them extra clean.The rabbits can be a variety of colors: brown, white, black, tan and grey. Rabbits eat a variety of healthy veggies such as carrots, celery, and kale. Rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, and that is why they are always munching away! I am a little jealous of this, because as a tortoise, I don’t have any teeth. My mouth is similar to bird’s beak. However, my beautiful shell makes up for my lack of pearly whites!

A fun rabbit game to play at home: Try singing “5 Little Rabbits Jumping on the Bed” and follow the singing and dancing with some healthy, veggies as a snack!


2. Ralphie The Irian Jaya Blue Tongue!

blue tongued-skink

Ralphie The Skink is a reptile with a pretty special tongue- it’s blue! Just like I use my shell to scare or avoid predators, Ralphie shows his blue tongue! Looks like this little guy and I have somethin’ in common! Ralphie is from Indonesia, and that is usually where you will find his relatives. Depending on how much time and love you give these little guys, they can make a pretty good pet. They eat insects, flowers, fruit and berries. I see kids of all ages holding Ralphie, and I know he enjoys it!

A fun skink activity for home: Make healthy Blueberry Ice Pops, so you can have an awesome blue tongue, too!

Ingredients – 2 cups fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and blue food coloring to give it that extra kick for those blue tongues! Feel free to add in some gummy worms before you freeze to give it even more fun!


 1.Stir first 3 ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until berries have burst, about 5 minutes

2. Mix in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature, then pour into molds and freeze.

blueberry pop

3. Ethel The Dove!


Ethel goes back to the start of The Art Farm In the City 11.5 years ago! Doves are found all over the world and you probably have seen their cousin, the pigeon all over NYC! Doves eat seeds, fruit and plants. Kids of all ages have been brave enough to hold Ethel right on their fingers while they pet her soft, white feathers. Ethel’s bird garden is right next to my cozy corner at The Art Farm, and she has been a great neighbor through the years.

Bird Activity for home: Make your very own birdies out of recycled, easy materials!

What you need:

Paper plate to cut in half, 3 different colored pieces of construction paper, Googly eyes, glue stick/glue, leaves, flowers, and or brown crinkly paper, and brown markers, crayons or paint (You choose how  messy you want to get!)


Cut the plate in half to have has the ‘bird’s” nest. Color or paint your nest brown or tan and glue on any “nature” or brown crinkly paper to act as pieces of the nest.

Cut out 3 different color ovals to act as your birds. Cut out and add little wings and beak (mix and match any colors!) out of extra paper. Add on your googly eyes and glue your birds into your nest!


Hopefully you enjoyed learning some fun, new information from ME – Benny The Tortoise. It’s been fun blogging about our Bunny Rabbits, Ralphie The Skink, and Ethel The Dove. If you want to meet or learn more about any of my friends I mentioned , visit our website for Farm Visiting Hours or check out Kidz Central Station for our class listings!

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