Harriet (turtle)


July 6, 2022

Harriet (eng. Harriet, circa 1830 - June 23, 2006) - Galapagos tortoise, recognized as one of the oldest in the world.


An elephant tortoise named Harriet was born around 1830 on one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago and died on June 23, 2006 at the Australian Zoo. It is believed that in 1835 it and two other individuals of this species were taken to the UK by the famous naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin. Since at that moment the animal was no larger than a plate, its age was estimated at five or six years. The sex of the animal was determined to be male, and it received the nickname Harry. In 1841, all three animals were transported to the Brisbane Botanical Gardens in Australia. In 1952, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens closed and the turtle was released into a conservation area off the Australian coast. Here, in 1960, the director of the zoo from Hawaii discovered her and found that the sex of the animal is female. After some time, the turtle was moved to the Australian Zoo. Since the documents of the animal were lost back in the 1920s, it is not possible to document the age of the turtle. However, in 1992, a genetic analysis was carried out, which confirmed that Harriet hails from the Galapagos Islands and her age is at least 162 years old. In 2004, her 175th birthday was solemnly celebrated. At that time, the turtle weighed 150 kg, being the size of a small dining table. On June 23, 2006, Harriet died of heart failure.

See also

Advaita (turtle) Kiki (turtle) Tui Malila



Der Schildkröten-Opa und die französische Revolution Archived June 24, 2006 at the Wayback Machine (German) Harriet the tortoise dies Galapagos Island tortoise Archived June 16, 2006 at the Wayback Machine Harriet, The Galapagos Tortoise. Disclosing One and a Half Centuries of History. Reptilia Number 2, March / April 1998 Archived March 17, 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australia Zoo - Harriet Archived July 11, 2007 at the Wayback Machine