2019 CTTC Valley Show Feature:
The Three Largest Tortoise Species in the World!

Slide Show

Click on the image above to view the slide show.

Galapagos Tortoises

The Guinness World Record for "Largest Tortoise" (at the time of this writing) was a Galapagos tortoise named Goliath who weighed 920 lbs and was 4 ft. 5.5 in. long. Because of Goliath, Galapagos tortoises are considered to be the largest tortoise species in the world. Nevertheless, average adult males usually weigh closer to 600 lbs and females, closer to 300 lbs. There are actually 11 different species of Galapagos tortoise still in existence today — each species native to a different island in the Galapagos archipelago. These islands are located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 850 miles west of Ecuador, the country to which they pertain. At the 2019 Valley Chapter show, there were two Galapagos tortoises: a very young one, named Geronimo, whose gender is still unknown and GG, who weighs 155 pounds at age 15. Both belonged to members of the Santa Clarita Chapter. Click here to view a video of GG taken at the show and posted on American Tortoise Rescue's Facebook page.

Pandora, an Aldabra Giant

Pandora is a 12-year-old, 255 lb Aldabra Giant.

Aldabra Giants

Prior to the discovery of Goliath, the Guinness World Record for "largest tortoise" went to Esmeralda, a (male!) Aldabra tortoise weighing in at 657 lbs. Because Goliath "beat" Esmeralda, Aldabra giant tortoises are now considered to be the second largest species of tortoise in the world. In general, though, fully-grown Galapagos and Aldabras are about the same size. Aldabra tortoises are native to the Aldabra Atoll which is a part of the Seychelles island nation. The Seychelles are a country made up of approximately 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean a little less than 1,500 miles east of Africa and about 1,100 miles northeast of Madagascar. The Valley Chapter had one Aldabra Giant tortoise at the show. She was a 255 lb, 12-year-old female named Pandora. Pandora, too, was brought to the show by a member of the Santa Clarita chapter. Click here to view a video of Pandora taken at the show and posted on American Tortoise Rescue's Facebook page.

Bubba the Sulcata

Bubba the Sulcata was the official greeter at the show.

Sulcatas (aka African Spurred Tortoises)

Sulcatas (also called African spurred tortoises) are the third largest tortoise species in the world and the largest species naturally occurring on a continent as opposed to an island. Sulcatas are native to the Sahara Desert and the Sahel in Africa and can be found in the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan. Adult sulcatas can reach the weight of 200 lbs. In 2019, Bubba, the sulcata, acted as the Valley Chapter show's official greeter. He has been to several shows, now, and belongs to a Valley Chapter member. He is the only tortoise at the show who — though accompanied by a chaperone — is allowed to freely roam the grounds and to interact with visitors. Click here to view a video of Bubba taken at the show and posted by Christopher Hunt on his Facebook page.

Here are a few different Sulcata photo links including one of a week-old baby:

Bubba #1  |   Bubba #2  |   Hatchling Sulcata

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GG is a 15-year-old, 155-pound Galapagos tortoise.
GG is a 15-year-old, 155-pound Galapagos tortoise.
Geronimo is a juvenile Galapagos tortoise. Still small enough to pick up, Geronimo is too young for his/her gender to be known.
Geronimo is a juvenile Galapagos tortoise.