Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo treated giant Galápagos tortoises Dolly, Polly and Priscilla to a housewarming celebration today (7 October) - ahead of the public opening of their new home, Giants of the Galápagos, this weekend.
Under a colourful housewarming banner, the trio enjoyed a breakfast banquet of juicy watermelon to celebrate Saturday’s opening (9 October), when visitors will be invited to step inside the immersive new indoor exhibit for the first time.
The slow-moving siblings moved into their new home a month ago (Tuesday 7 September) each strolling the 200metre stretch across the Zoo from their old pad accompanied by a dedicated keeper - and have been enthusiastically exploring the mod cons of their swanky new pad ever since.
ZSL herpetologist Dr Chris Michaels said: “Dolly, Polly and Priscilla have very much enjoyed investigating everything their new home has to offer over the past few weeks – Dolly is a particular fan of some self-care in the muddy wallow, while Polly likes to treat herself to a cooling soak in the lagoon pool.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors inside the new exhibit for the first time this Saturday, where they’ll be able to see our giant trio in their new home and learn more about the pristine world of the Galápagos archipelago.”
From this Saturday (9 October), people visiting the tortoises in Giants of the Galápagos will be transported to the famous archipelago, surrounded by the sights and sensations of the pristine, isolated island chain.
Stroll through the island, while Dolly, Polly and Priscilla roam the forest just feet away, basking in the warmth of the 27degree tropical atmosphere - the perfect temperature for the 26-year-olds, who have an expected life span of over 100 years.
Explore the long life cycle of a giant Galápagos tortoise, to discover how tiny hatchlings the size of a hamster eventually grow into the biggest tortoises in the world; learn how giant tortoises went from roaming almost every continent on Earth to being marooned on islands 1000km from the nearest mainland – and how they evolved to survive.
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Credit: ZSL London Zoo/Cover Images