Septuagenarian giant Galapagos tortoise successfully mates with three younger females to produce offspring

Septuagenarian giant Galapagos tortoise successfully mates with three younger females to produce offspring



DIRK, a 70-year-old Galapagos tortoise, has given birth to the first tortoise born in the United Kingdom.

The sassy old-timer, named after well-endowed porn actor Dirk Diggler from the film Boogie Nights, mated with lover Charlie, who is 49 years his junior.

He has also approached Zuzu and Isabella, the other two girls in his pen.

“The successful mating took occurred in November, but we aren’t sure precisely when because Dirk tries it on so often,” Crocodiles of the World zoo in Brize Norton, Oxon, said yesterday.

“However, the eggs were incubated by the keepers, and the kids hatched 113 and 118 days after they were laid.”

“The four adults have been at it all the time since they came to us in 2018.”

Dirk first arrived in Britain after being caught on the Galapagos Islands, in the Pacific, in 1962.

The species can grow up to 6ft long and can mate all year round — with males known for often making loud grunting noises.

A regular at the zoo said: “Dirk is well known for being up for it.

“He just can’t get enough.”

Jamie Gilks, the zoo’s head of reptiles, said: “He still has a healthy appetite for the opposite sex and from around December to March we would typically see Dirk mating daily.”

The zoo’s babies, thought to be female, are currently the size of tennis balls and tip the scales at just three ounces each but they could grow to be 30stCredit: BNPS
The zoo’s babies, thought to be female, are currently the size of tennis balls and tip the scales at just three ounces each but they could grow to be 30stCredit: BNPS

Zoo founder Shaun Foggett said: “We’re incredibly proud to have successfully bred these tortoises.

“They have previously been very close to extinction and still face an uncertain future.

“This is a significant achievement towards helping the conservation of the species.”

There are around 15,000 Galapagos tortoises in existence compared to 200,000 in the 19th century, when British naturalist Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution while studying how they had adapted to their surroundings.

They are famous for their size, and their long necks which help them reach vegetation.

The zoo’s babies, thought to be female, are currently the size of tennis balls and tip the scales at just three ounces each.

But they could grow to be 30st.

Dirk successfully mated with girlfriend Charlie, 49 years his juniorCredit: BNPS
Dirk successfully mated with girlfriend Charlie, 49 years his juniorCredit: BNPS

This article by Rob Pattinson was first published by The Sun on 31 March 2022. Lead Image: Dirk the giant Galapagos tortoise has become a father for the first time — at the age of 70Credit: BNPS.


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