Check out Australia Zoo’s Aldabra Tortoises!
Get up close and personal with our gentle giants, right here at Australia Zoo! Our Aldabra tortoises love a scratch and meeting our Zoo guests. Learn all about these herbivorous reptiles during the daily Tortoises LIVE! keeper demonstration at the Aldrabra Tortoise habitat or out and about exploring their home on Bindi’s Island.
Aldabra tortoises are native to the islands of the Aldabra Atoll and Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa. These reptiles are one of the largest tortoise species in the world. Crikey! Adults in this species stand at over 1 metre (3.2 feet) and weigh in at a whopping 300 kilograms (660 pounds). These slow-moving tortoises carry their homes on their back, it acts as their refuge from any would-be predators! When under threat the tortoise will tuck its long neck and head inside its shell, folding their muscular-scaled legs in front of them, denying any uninvited animal access into their personal space. However, some visitors, such as small birds and lizards, are welcomed under their shell and into their skin folds. These small animals play an important role in removing any insects and parasites from their tough, leathery skin!
Mating for a tortoise can be an extreme sport and potentially death defying! The male tortoise will attempt to mount the female without tipping onto his back. He has got to be really careful as it can be near impossible for a male tortoise to correct himself once tipped. Strewth! Believe it or not, sexual maturity is reached at approximately 50 years of age for Aldabra tortoises. Luckily, they can live to be over 150 years old.
Giant tortoises held a special place in Steve’s heart due to one gorgeous girl – Harriett the Galapagos tortoise. Click here to find out all about Harriet and Steve!
The Aldabra tortoise is a story with a happier ending than many. They were once hunted to the brink of extinction by sailors but, today, the Aldabra Atoll is a heritage-listed site! Whilst this species is formally protected from the illegal wildlife trade and any further human development on the island, they are still considered a vulnerable species. Let’s all be sure to do what we can for this species so that they survive well into the future.
Up to 1 metre
Up to 300 kilograms
8 - 9 months