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| p.1 #1 · Galapagos Islands- last post- tortoises |
The last of this brief series.
Thanks for looking and for the kind words expressed.
Land tortoises (galapagos in Spanish) were the first important reason that brought sailing vessels to the islands.. Thousands of the giants (+/- 500 pounds) were taken to whaling vessels and flipped on their backs until it was their turn to be cooked and eaten.
We saw none in the wild because they lived mainly at higher elevations. But at the beginning of my 2-week cruise among the islands, our guide took us to the Darwin Institute, and we looked at some of the breeding stock. Representatives from each of the islands were kept separate from those from other islands because the animals varied in physical structure according to the islands where their ancestors lived.
When the babies were big enough to survive in the wild (introduced species, i.e. rats, cats, etc. preyed on the very young), they were taken to "their" island and released.
The man in the little compound is the caretaker.