Hugo the Galapagos tortoise, 70, will be introduced to his new girlfriend Estrella, 21, after Covid intervened with their first date – and keepers are VERY keen for the pair to get along
- Hugo the 70-year-old Galapagos tortoise will meet his new girlfriend Estrella
- Estrella the 21-year-old tortoise will fly from Germany to the NSW reptile park
- Reptile keepers at the zoo are hopeful they will mate and eventually procreate
Galapagos tortoise Hugo will finally meet his long-distance girlfriend as wildlife teams fly his mate over from the other side of the world.
In the next few weeks Estrella the 21-year-old tortoise will be flown from Germany to her new home at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby on the New South Wales Central Coast.
After undergoing three months of quarantine, Estrella will then be able to meet Hugo, 70, for the first time with reptile keepers hopeful the pair will eventually mate.
The couple were supposed to be united in 2019 but due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic their plans for romance were put on pause.
Estrella (pictured) the 21-year-old tortoise will fly from Germany to her new home at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby on the New South Wales Central Coast
The female tortoise will have to undergo three months of quarantine before she can unite with her partner Hugo
Daniel Rumsey, Head of Reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park, said the whole team was ecstatic Estrella would be arriving soon, making her the first Galapagos tortoise to arrive in Australia in more than 40 years.
‘He’s been looking for a mate for some time now so we can’t wait to see him have a companion,’ he said.
‘I can’t wait to meet her myself and get to know her personality. If all goes well, within the next few years we might have some baby Galapagos tortoises.’
Despite the significant age gap between the two tortoises reptile keeper Jake Meney says the team are confident sparks will fly.
Hugo the 70-year-old tortoise has lived at the Australian Reptile Park since the 1960s and weighs a whopping 181kg
Hugo has lived at the park since 1963 and weighs a whopping 181kg.
Estrella’s arrival comes after it was revealed a giant tortoise found in the Galapagos Islands in 2019 belongs to an extinct species.
The animal was found on Fernandina Island during an expedition.
Researchers from Yale University have identified it as the Chelonoidis phantasticus – a species which was thought to be extinct 100 years ago.
Reptile keepers are very excited Hugo (pictured) and his new mate will get along