Giant Tortoises

On our last day in the Galapagos, we went to a Turtle sanctuary and lava tunnels on Santa Cruz. Lava tunnels are small caves/tunnels that were created by lava. The rocks on the wall are full of holes because of the air trapped inside the lava when it hardened.

The turtles we saw were huge! They looked about 400 lbs. They were about 2.5 feet in width, and 3.5 feet in length. and as you can see, they can fit Alora and Kate in a shell with a little room left. I got in one of the tortoise’s shells but it was a very tight fit.

The tortoises loved the guava, and there were many half-eaten guavas everywhere. And no matter where you were there was guava; which is amazing because guavas are very good, but it is very bad for the island because guava is an invasive species.

This tortoise breeding center is very important because people used to hunt the tortoises and there used to be thousands of tortoise carcasses left scattered on the ground. People hunted them because the giant tortoises were a good source of meat and oil. The tortoises were recently in danger of extinction, with only very few tortoises remaining. In 1959 the Ecuadorian government made tortoise hunting illegal, and their population started rising again.