Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 4, Isabela Island, Tortoise breeding center

Isabela Island is by far the largest island of the archipelago and yet it is the least populated.

We walked out to the tortoise breeding center. There are four types of tortoises brought here to breed. The babies are kept in a protective area as when they are first born they have soft shells. Predators, such as the cat, have been introduced so the young are protected.

The eggs hatch in about four months. Tortoises reach sexual maturity at about 20 years. Once of age, it takes about 7 hours to complete the act of breeding.

The apples on the trees in this area are poisonous and there are numerous signs of warning.

The tortoises are fed some kind of palm 4" in diameter. The tortoises chewed through these stalks easily.

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