NJ The Galapagos Tortoise At Taronga Zoo Turns Five Years Old

galapagos turtle

The first Galapagos hatchling in Australia named by Taronga Zoo as NJ turned a healthy five years old last month. NJ celebrated the occasion by feasting on his favourite treats such as lettuce and hibiscus flowers that were prepared specially by his keepers at the zoo. When he first came into this world, NJ measured less than 8cm long and weighed just 50 grams. Whilst that may sound very small it is perfectly normal for a Galapagos hatchling.

Live a long life

At his most recent weigh in NJ tipped the scales at a very healthy 3.59 kilograms and measures 36 cm long. Turtles have long lifespans and age accordingly. It takes approximately 20 to 25 years for a hatchling to achieve maturity and reach their full size. Turtles can live for as long as 150 years, so NJ will have plenty of opportunities to interact with generations of visitors to Taronga zoo. We have been using the term him to refer to NJ, but the fact of the matter is we still don’t know NJ’s gender yet.

 “We are very happy with NJ’s development so far, during the next health check vets will hopefully be able to determine whether NJ is a male or female,” said Keeper Linda Matthews.

Galapagos Tortoise is a vulnerable species

NJ loves spending time basking in the sun in his purpose built hatchling exhibit. NJ also interacts a lot with his younger compatriots, Galapagos Tortoise Turbo and Pena who hatched back in January 2014. The species of tortoise is classified as being vulnerable in the wild. It is estimated that their population has fallen to just 10,000 on the Galapagos Archipelago. The main threat to the Galapagos Tortoise are feral animals. If you would like to see them at Taronga Zoo, they are scheduled to feed every afternoon at 2:35 PM

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