Giant tortoises slowly move into new home at London Zoo

(c) ZSL London Zoo

Zookeeper Charli Ellis with Priscilla - Credit: ZSL London Zoo

A trio of giant tortoises trekked across London Zoo - at the speed of 0.1 miles per hour - to reach their new home.

Polly, Dolly and Priscilla made the epic 200 metre journey at the Regent's Park attraction ahead of the opening of the new Giants of the Galápagos exhibit on October 9.

Each were guided on the adventure by a dedicated keeper sporting their tortoise team mate's name on a t-shirt with the help of brightly coloured cones as markers.

Zookeepers enticed Polly, Dolly and Priscilla with snacks on their 200 metre trek

Zookeepers enticed Polly, Dolly and Priscilla with snacks on their 200 metre trek - Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Dolly took the lead but after a few breaks for watermelon, cucumber and carrot snacks she was overtaken by her 26-year-old sisters and reached her destination in a respectable time of 1 hour 21 minutes.

It was Polly who was the first to enter their new enclosure in a record breaking time of 1hour 9 minutes.

Dr Chris Michaels, head of herpetology at ZSL London Zoo, said: “As it is a relatively short distance between their old and new homes, we decided to forego moving vans and gave Dolly, Polly and Priscilla the option to walk there – with specially designed travel crates as back up if anyone changed their mind. We made sure to have plenty of snacks handy as extra encouragement, but after clearing an access from their old outdoor paddock onto a Zoo path, it was full steam ahead for the three females."

They have a few weeks to settle into their new island home, which boasts a choice of lagoon pools to cool off in, a muddy wallow and a tropical forest, before it opens to the public next month.   

The new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit opens at London Zoo on October 9.

The new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit opens at London Zoo on October 9. - Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Most Read

Chris added: “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to our new Giants of the Galápagos exhibit – there's so much to learn about the wildlife on these incredible islands.” 

The exhibit is included in entry to the Zoo. Book now at https://www.zsl.org/

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter