The arrival of Dirk’s eight progeny, who are aged but still virile, is a huge boost to the conservation situation of the gigantic Galapagos tortoise, which is an en.dan.gered species. A 70-year-old giant tortoise stunned zookeepers by fathering eight kids.
Dirk, a vi.rul.ent reptile named after the porn actor Dirk Diggler from the film ‘Boogie Nights,’ has been ‘at it’ with three females he shares a pen with for most of the year. Two young tortoises were born from eggs deposited by Charlie, a 21-year-old female at Crocodiles of the World in Oxfordshire, in March.
It was the first time a Giant Galapagos tortoise had been successfully reared in a British zoo.
After Dirk m.a.ted with female Isabella, who had four eggs that hatched in July, Charlie deposited two additional eggs that Dirk fer.t.ili.zed, and these have just hatched. However, Dirk, who is claimed to be in peak physical shape, does not appear to want to take things easy and looks to be eager to ma.te with female Zuzu.
The arrival of the eight youngsters at Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton is a tremendous boost to the conservation status of the endangered giant Galapagos tortoise. There are presently just approximately 15,000 people remaining in the globe, compared to 200,000 in the nineteenth century.
Dirk’s outstanding success has elevated him to the position of maybe the most significant guy in Europe.
“The first two hatchlings were Charlie’s back in March, then we had four from Isabella in July, and we’ve now got another two from Charlie’s eggs,” said Shaun Foggett, founder and director of Crocodiles of the World. There has been no word from Zuzu yet, but they only began producing eggs in the last 18 months. “We’re very certain they’re all female, but this has yet to be proven.” The young are kept away from the adult tortoises to check their growth and overall well-being.
“It’s a major issue since for the past decade or so, just one collection of gigantic Galapagos tortoises in Europe has been able to reproduce the species.”
“It definitely demonstrates that Dirk is a potentially extremely significant tortoise in European zoos.” The most significant benefit right now is the knowledge we can gather and share about everything from egg incubation to child-rearing.
“This will give additional expertise and understanding of the entire breeding process in a zoo context.”
The timings of ma.ting, breeding, adult behavior, and any food and supplements that we’ve found beneficial or necessary will all be included in this corpus of knowledge on reproducing the species.
“This is all critical information that can be written up and combined with current knowledge and practices from the islands.”
“Our current intention is to retain the youngsters at the zoo for the foreseeable future so that we can continue to monitor their growth and condition as they mature.
“It’s such a rare opportunity to learn and contribute to the species’ future.”
Dirk does not appear to be tired and continues to live with the girls.”
Although the eight young tortoises are little today, they will grow to be 30 stone adults.
The long necks of giant Galapagos tortoises are synonymous with Charles Darwin, who established the theory of evolution by examining them.
The renowned British scientist recognized that the enormous creatures adapted their physical shape to their surroundings and that their long necks were designed to reach high-up plants on Galapagos. Crocodiles of the World also contribute to the Galapagos Conservation Trust, which conducts research to help develop future conservation plans for the species and ensure their survival on the Galapagos Islands.
Dirk arrived in the United Kingdom after being captured in the Galapagos Islands in 1962.
Giant Galapagos tortoises, or Chelonoidis niger in Latin, are the world’s biggest tortoise species, reaching 6ft in length and 900lbs in weight.
They mate all year, and the male is known to produce loud grunting noises.