We had a very special morning at Auckland Zoo this week. We got to go behind the scenes at the Conservation Medicine Centre and meet one of the baby leopard tortoises.
One of the keepers took a chunk of time out of his day to talk with us. It was incredible to hear him speak about their conservation work and their reptiles. We got to ask lots of questions. It was so cool to be in a space we usually look in at, from the other side of the window. We were about to explode with happiness then the keeper took us on... to meet Smiley, their male Galapagos tortoise.
Here we are...INSIDE Smiley's enclosure. Squee!
Happiness for animal lovers like us.
Such a special opportunity. It was one of those days we'll both treasure the memory of.
The kids were just rapt.
The Galapagos tortoises are getting a new habitat soon. One that includes a heated pool, as they struggle a bit with the cool NZ winters. Such incredible creatures. So much is still unknown about them too. No-one knows how long they actually live for and they don't breed in captivity.
We each got the chance to touch Smiley's shell. Again, those kids faces. Priceless. I tell you, that Friends of the Zoo pass was one of the best things I have ever paid out for.
And in case you were wondering what Galapagos tortoise poo looks like...ta DA! (Strictly in the interests of science of course and bearing in mind the company I was in)