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Tortoises and “Lonesome George”

Posted by Susanna On October - 8 - 2010

Even though everything you see in Galapagos is amazing I was really looking forward to today since I was finally supposed to see the giant tortoises I had dreamed of for so long. There are so fascinating animals looking like from a different world. I was so excited… After breakfast we left early in the morning to the Charles Darwin Research Station which is primarily an international research station. Located just outside of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz it is home of the famous tortoise “Lonesome George” who is probably the last of his kind and people try to breed him since years – so far without any success. The station is not that big and you see baby tortoises, bigger tortoises divided by female and male. I arrived right at feeding time and if its about food big tortoises can become quite fast. I saw “Lonesome George” and his female companions. George is very special looking and got a very long neck. There are three types of tortoise shell shapes: saddleback, dome shaped and in between. The different shapes were found on different islands. While saddleback tortoises live in dry habitat, dome-shaped ones are found in moister areas with lush vegetation. In the afternoon we were able to visit the Rancho Mariposa in the highlands. It is a private place to watch giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Being private got one major advantage – we were able to see the tortoises closely. Steven Divine the owner of that ranch does have lots and lots of tortoises migrating to his property. So he offers visitors to see them. So far that was my favorite experience and I am thinking about to visit it again. It is just so wonderful to be close to these majestic but slow animals. The walk brings you first to a dense forest and two smaller caves were we saw an owl and wild goats. Later on former cattle ground you will see the tortoises – everywhere. I think it might be between 20-30 of them. What a great site!

Santa Cruz

Charles Darwin Research Station

Rancho Mariposa

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2 Responses to “Tortoises and “Lonesome George””

  1. Irene Benavides says:

    Wonderful pictures! Where are the underwater pictures you took??? They were really, really interesting!

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“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
by Buddha


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