Lord of the Galapagos

There are few more impressive creatures than the docile, vegetarian, giant Galapagos land tortoises. No one knows how old these creatures grow in the wild, since no person has been living in the islands long enough to see one survive to its natural old age. The ones in the photo are upwards of 140 years.Weighing in at half a ton, the greatest danger they pose to you is stepping on your toe. This tranquility has not always served the giant tortoise well. In the past they were frequently attacked by invasive dogs and kidnapped by sailors for meat on their long voyages. Where once half a million giant tortoises roamed, today only a few thousand remain.

It is sad to think that the survival of this species is in our hands – the very creatures the endangered them in the first place.

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