16 November 1996
THE Sunshine Coast’s oldest resident, Harriet the Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise, celebrated her 166th birthday yesterday.
Harriet, now living at Beerwah’s Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, is thought to have been captured in 1840 by naturalist Charles Darwin during his famous voyages aboard the HMS Beagle.
After a brief stay in England, she is thought to have been brought to Brisbane by Captain John Wickham in the late 1840s to live at Newstead House.
In the 1860s Harriet was moved to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, before taking up residence at Fleay’s Fauna Sanctuary in 1952, and finally the Reptile and Fauna Park in 1987.
Park Marketing Manager Tracie McMichael said Harriet’s birthday celebrations would continue today. Australian artist Terry Saleh will play his didgeridoo and hold an exhibition at the park.