3 Galapagos at London zoo today

TortyDxb

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I have been on a behind the scenes tour there. They have a pretty enormous amount of space. As with so many creatures in zoos now, the care is about keeping stress levels down so they don't feel they're constantly being watched by people... which means the general public cannot see the entire enclosure indoors or out


@JoesMum Can you go into a bit more detail, is the tour still possible today? Any chance of a link to it? also how much space did they actually have behind the scenes, even approximately would be great? Thanks!
 

TortyDxb

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In this vid it says females go to about the "65kg to 100kg range".... suddenly it's not soooooo crazy to own a galap as a private indiviudal.

I was reading another thread about horsefield torts and, then, some news about the appalling conditions torts are put through to be smuggled and traded worldwide. Sellotaped up like a yarn. What makes people so detached?


Can't help but feel we should all be encouraging captive breeding worldwide in every single country, even if its bad for business. Flood the market, kill the profit.
 

William Lee Kohler

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"In this vid it says females go to about the "65kg to 100kg range".... suddenly it's not soooooo crazy to own a galap as a private indiviudal."
IF you have the money and the room to keep them AND someone to pass them on to when you can't keep any longer. I've long dreamed of having some Hood Island Saddlebacks(the smallest Galaps)myself but realize it is just not practical unless you're rich. Which I am not.
For commoner large tortoises that is already happening with Sulcatas and Leopards being orphaned all the time. For the really big Galaps and Aldabras I see the same thing happening in time. There are too many being captive bred already. It's the rarer smaller ones of Hingebacks, Chersina, Impressed, Burmese stars, Homopus, Tentorius, etc that really need the captive breeding efforts:<3:!
 

TortyDxb

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"In this vid it says females go to about the "65kg to 100kg range".... suddenly it's not soooooo crazy to own a galap as a private indiviudal."
IF you have the money and the room to keep them AND someone to pass them on to when you can't keep any longer. I've long dreamed of having some Hood Island Saddlebacks(the smallest Galaps)myself but realize it is just not practical unless you're rich. Which I am not.
For commoner large tortoises that is already happening with Sulcatas and Leopards being orphaned all the time. For the really big Galaps and Aldabras I see the same thing happening in time. There are too many being captive bred already. It's the rarer smaller ones of Hingebacks, Chersina, Impressed, Burmese stars, Homopus, Tentorius, etc that really need the captive breeding efforts:<3:!


Thanks for the better detail here :) it's so easy to forget that even someone succesfully housing a 10 year old Aldabra/Galap is going to struggle... I still think "flood the market and make it rain"- is the best policy- but only from my experience internet side. I cannot stand the things I see & hear on smuggling, theft, and the like. Cruel and unforgivable.
 

William Lee Kohler

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Torts from different islands evolved differently

ZSL’s web page about them
https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/exhibits/galapagos-tortoises

Duh! As a Friend of Galapagos and huge fan of the Giants I'm very familiar with the different types from different Islands. Several years ago(the 70s) worldwide search was made for ANY Hood Is., Duncan Is. or Abingdon Is. saddleback giant tortoises. Particularly the search for Georges relatives from Abingdon continues even today. All zoos have been thoroughly searched and no private collectors have produced any at all if memory serves correctly.
Thanks for the better detail here :) it's so easy to forget that even someone succesfully housing a 10 year old Aldabra/Galap is going to struggle... I still think "flood the market and make it rain"- is the best policy- but only from my experience internet side. I cannot stand the things I see & hear on smuggling, theft, and the like. Cruel and unforgivable.

Agreed! The smugglers should be shot on the spot!
 

Redfoo

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Incredible animals, thanks for sharing the pictures. I can't remember the last time I went to a Zoo. Might have to go to check these guys out.
 

Star-of-India

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I may well be wrong, but I don’t appreciate any real pyramiding in those Galapagos torts. Some torts are lumpier than others. Once more, I may be wrong, but pyramiding is much more distinct, I believe.

Amongst my torts, stars and radiateds, the somewhat pyramided ones, all stars, which occurred prior to my caring for them, have very stacked appearing scutes.

Since getting torts again in 2013, I’ve had them on and off all my life, I’ve followed the advice on this site pretty well. The stars I purchased came pyramided, but their new growth was much more smooth. My radiateds, which I got as hatchlings, have no such stacking, but they vary in “lumpiness.”
 

JoesMum

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I may well be wrong, but I don’t appreciate any real pyramiding in those Galapagos torts. Some torts are lumpier than others. Once more, I may be wrong, but pyramiding is much more distinct, I believe.
I agree. If you look at pics of ALDABRAMAN’s fine herd, many of whom are many decades old, they just don’t seem to grow perfectly domed or smooth.
 
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