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Giant Galapagos tortoises race one another to their new home

The trio will spend the next weeks settling into their new home, which has two lagoon pools, a muddy wallow for spa treatments and a tropical forest.

Giant Galapagos tortoises raced each other to their new home as ZSL London Zoo announced a new exhibit.

After deciding to move sisters Dolly, Polly and Priscilla to a new shelter in the complex, zookeepers opted to allow them to make the journey by foot instead of van.

The trio were pitted against each other in a race to the venue guided by brightly coloured markers, with special travel crates on hand in case any of them chose to take a detour.

The race was tense, with Polly behind at the beginning before eventually crossing the finishing line on 1hr 09 mins – a two-minute lead on closest rival Priscilla.

Sibling Dolly was initially in the lead but took too many breaks on route, leaving her trailing behind with a time of 1hr 21mins.

Dr Chris Michaels, head of the zoo’s herpetology team, said: “We made sure to have plenty of tasty cucumber, carrots and watermelon handy as extra encouragement if needed.”

Each tortoise was guided by a keeper, who had the tortoise’s names on specially designed ZSL shirts. 

ZSL London Zoo is opening the Giants of the Galápagos exhibit on October 9, where the public will be transported to the famous archipelago.

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