Aldabra Tortoise

Scientific name:  Dipsochelys dussumieri
Class:  Reptiles
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Grasslands and steppes
Diet:  Omnivore
Weight:  150 - 250 kg
Size:  90 - 120 cm

It is with great sadness that we announce that Darwin, the zoo’s oldest resident and much loved Aldabra tortoise, has passed away.

Darwin had been receiving specialist treatment for a severe progressive leg problem for a period of time. Despite all the best efforts of his keepers and veterinary team, and consulting with leading worldwide reptile veterinarians, sadly there was no cure; his condition deteriorated, and the very difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.

Darwin arrived before the zoo opened in 1972 and became an iconic animal due to his vast size and being the first animal that people encountered when visiting the zoo.   He was a wonderful link for so many people to the fascination of reptiles and he has really inspired the next generation of conservationists.

Aldabra tortoises are one of the largest species of tortoise in the world originating from the islands of Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles, and they are the longest living animal on the planet.  Darwin was thought to be around 105 years old, although we don’t have an exact age as there are no detailed records of his history.  However, we do know that he is an irreplaceable feature of the Blackpool Zoo’s history.

He had a personality on par with his size, making him a hugely popular member of our zoo family and was loved by all of our visitors. Staff and keepers are extremely saddened at his passing and are being comforted by the kind messages of condolence we are receiving.

Conservation status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated

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