Geographic region: Galapagos Islands (East Pacific Ocean)
Meaning of name: Saddle Tortoise (Spanish)
Habitat:Coastal fringes and high lands of the Galapagos Islands
Threats:Introduced feral animals
Left in wild: Approximately 19,000
|One of the longest living animals on earth – Galapogas Tortoise, Perth Zoo|
|Galapagos Tortoise Perth Zoo|
Stu’s Zoo Pick for Galapagos Tortoise
With so many zoos participating in successful breeding programs and re-population schemes of the Galapagos Tortoise, I thought I would focus on some of the more famous individuals. Here are a few that have touched many hearts – to become priceless ambassadors for their species.
Harriet (Oldest recorded of her species)
Harriet was hatched around 1830 on the Galapagos Islands and was collected by Charles Darwin to be taken back to England in 1835. In 1842 Harriet arrived in Brisbane and lived in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens for over 100 years. Harriet spent the last two decades of her life at Australia Zoo in Queensland, where she became somewhat of a national treasure. In 2005 Harriet turned 175 years old and there was a huge celebration including thousands of party guests, tortoise shaped birthday cake and a huge international media contingency.
Harriet was happiest when munching on her favourite red hibiscus flowers. Harriet passed away on 23rd of June 2006 leaving behind many admirers of her species and an impressive life story.
Lonesome George – (Last of his sub species)
NJ – (First Galapagos Tortoise hatched in Australasia)
NJ was hatched at Western Plain Zoo, Dubbo, Australia in 2011 and was the first hatchling born in captivity in Australasia. NJ’s gender will not be known for several years (hence the obscure name).
NJ’s Mother was 90 at the time of NJ’s birth. As a hatchling NJ weighed 87 grams and will grow up in 30 years to a massive 256 kilos.
Best Zoos to see Galapagos Tortoise