Giants of the Galapagos exhibit is now open
Thursday 16 July 2009
ZSL London Zoo's brand new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit is now open - and its star attraction is an energetic pensioner.
He might be going on for around 70-years-old, but one of ZSL London Zoo’s newest animals has not one, but two females living in his brand new boudoir.
Dirk the Galapagos tortoise, and his two new ladies Dolly, 16 and Dolores, 14 are the first inhabitants of the new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit and all three of them have been making the most of their new love shack.
When he arrived at his new home Dirk, who weighs an impressive 200kg (31 stone), had not seen a female tortoise for nearly 18-months – but is definitely making up for lost time.
Since being introduced to Dolly and Dolores, Dirk has been mating with them constantly - creating a tortoise love triangle.
Romeo Dirk marks a sharp contrast to the famously solitary Galapagos tortoise “Lonesome George”, who lives alone on the Galapagos Island of Pinta and is thought to be the last there.
ZSL London Zoo’s sprightly pensioner and his svelte ladies, who weigh almost half as much as him, now live in a luxurious love pad kitted out with watering holes, heated mud wallows and climate controlled temperatures.
Ian Stephen, ZSL’s Assistant Curator of Herpetology, said: “I think Dirk has taken quite a shine to Dolly in particular - they travelled here together and have been inseparable ever since.”
Our new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit is part of ZSL’s ongoing integrated conservation programme. We are delighted that we have been able to raise a further £25,000 for conservation in this region. ZSL is currently discussing with its Ecuadorian partners on how best to use this money to help build capacity and a legacy within Ecuador.
Visitors are now able to view the Zoo’s three gentle giants in their new home.