San Diego (CA) Photos

April 5, 2009

Galápagos giant tortoise

Filed under: Nature, Places to visit, San Diego Zoo — Tags: — washaw @ 6:00 am


The Galápagos giant tortoise is the largest living tortoise. This adult weighs about 600 lbs. We have 17 at the San Diego Zoo.

From the Zoo website: “In 1969 the San Diego Zoo became a partner with the Charles Darwin Research Station on the islands, funding a new tortoise-rearing facility and helping with captive propagation and release programs. The Zoo also has one of the largest captive colonies of Galápagos tortoises in the world and has had these giants in the collection since 1928. That’s the year when Dr. Charles Townsend of the New York Zoological Society began his efforts to save the tortoises from extinction by collecting them and setting up colonies in zoos.

The original tortoises sent to the San Diego Zoo—yes, they are still with us!—are well over 100 years old today, although we do not know how long a tortoise will continue to produce offspring. In addition, because Hood Island tortoises Geochelone nigra hoodensis are so rare (estimates were 12 females and 3 males in the 1970s), the San Diego Zoo’s male, number 21, was sent to the Charles Darwin Research Station in 1976 to be part of the breeding program there. So far he has fathered hundreds of tortoises!”


1 Comment »

  1. That’s one big reptile!!!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! That’s cool that you’ll be here at the end of the month. There is a lot to see here in Philly and I’m sure you’ll get some amazing photos to post on your blog. Be sure to get Billy Penn from the front side, though, as I was facing his rear because the theater we were at was located there.

    Comment by Dot O — April 5, 2009 @ 10:11 am

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