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Giant Tortoises Finally Meet After Long Distance Love Affair

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 16, 2021 10:16 pm

Galapagos Tortoise Love Affair Australian Reptile Park

Hugo (Left) and Estrella (Right) meet for the first time at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

In the perfect end to a long distance love affair for the ages Hugo and Estrella the Galapagos giant tortoises have finally met at the Australian Reptile Park.

Hugo and Estrella first met on dating app Tinder back in 2019. With Estrella living at Zoo Rostock in Germany plans were made to bring her to Australia to meet her new beau.

Fate did not favor the two lovers though and the global pandemic put a stop to her plans to travel around the globe. Her transfer to Australia was delayed until June this year when she was able to move. After undergoing a mandatory three month quarantine period she was finally able to step out in to the Australian sunshine.

Hugo and Estrella the Galapagos giant tortoises meet for the first time at the Australian Reptile Park

Video Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Despite Estrella, 21 being 59 years the junior of Hugo it is hoped that the pair will eventually breed and help to bolster the numbers of their endangered species.

Hugo and Estrella have been paired as part of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia’s prescribed species breeding program. Planning is ongoing with hopes that the first hatchlings will emerge within 5 years.

This is the first time that Hugo has seen a female tortoise since his arrival at the Australian Reptile Park home since 1963. He is still considered middle aged and could live to be well over 100 years old.

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Daniel Rumsey, Head of Reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park said, “I couldn’t be more excited for Hugo! He’s been looking for a mate for some time now so to see the two of them together finally is honestly one of the best things I’ve witnessed in my life!”

Rumsey continued, “Hugo’s got a bit of an extra bounce in his step now and we can now sigh with relief since the lovers have met! I can already tell they are in love; they haven’t left each other since they met. Who knows, maybe within the next few years we will have some baby Galapagos tortoises!”

Galapagos Tortoise Love Affair Australian Reptile Park

Estrella the Galapagos giant tortoise in her new habitat at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

To ensure the two are comfortable keepers have undertaken a range of upgrades to the Galapagos giant tortoise habitat.

Hugo and Estrella are now ready to meet visitors with the Australian Reptile Park having recently reopened following a closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can also join Hugo on a daily walk through the park.

Galapagos Tortoise Love Affair Australian Reptile Park

Hugo and Estrella share food during their first meeting at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Learn more about Galapagos Giant Tortoises here – Galapagos Giant Tortoise Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Australian Reptile Park on their website – Australian Reptile Park

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