Bird Island’s Tortoises

There are over 20 Giant Aldabran Tortoises that roam freely around Bird Island. 

For those who have never heard of tortoises, these are reptiles with a thick domed carapace. Their habitats range from mangrove swamps and coastal dune areas to grasslands and scrub forests and they eat almost any grass, leaf or edible plant they find in their path. 

These placid friendly creatures are a big hit with guests, particularly children who get to imagine what their ancestors the dinosaurs could have been like.

Our most popular tortoise is Esmeralda. He is the oldest and heaviest around. In the 1980s, when weighed by the Royal Zoological Society, ‘Esmeralda’ broke the scales at 298kg! He made history by becoming the world’s heaviest free roaming tortoise.

Good to know:

You will have noticed that we call Esmeralda ‘he’. That’s not a mistake. Esmeralda is actually a male tortoise.