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galapagos tortoise sitting in grass
All Animals

Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos giant tortoise is one of the longest-lived animals in the world, and the oldest recorded individual lived to be 152! The Houston Zoo works with organizations in the Galapagos to help save these precious animals.


Animal Facts

Scientific Name

Geochelone nigra


Dry grassy and rocky areas on the Galapagos Islands

Location in the Zoo

Near lions and tigers

Cool Animal Fact

Adult male Galapagos tortoises can weigh up to 600 pounds! Females may weigh up to 200 pounds.

How we Help Save Them

  • The Zoo provides salaries, support, and equipment for people protecting tortoises and other wildlife in Galapagos. They fit wild Galapagos tortoises with satellite tracking devices and collect movement data. This information will be used to design future protection plans for wild tortoises.
  • The Zoo provides support for teenagers from the Galapagos to protect sea turtles and giant tortoises. They create programs to monitor sea turtle nests and prevent tortoises and local wildlife from being hit by cars.
  • The Zoo provides support for Galapagos teenagers to remove invasive plants (plants that are not supposed to be in an area) from the Galapagos Islands, helping to protect wildlife that depend on native/local plants for food.