68 year old Hugo, finds his Valentine!

In what keepers are saying is the best Valentine’s Day ever, the Australian Reptile Park is proud to announce that Hugo the Galapagos Tortoise has found a girlfriend!

After years of searching, the Central Coast wildlife sanctuary decided to turn it up a notch in January 2019 and get Hugo registered to Tinder. Dozens of girls matched with the tortoise, but none of them stood out. Not until he got the attention Estrella, a 21-year-old female Galapagos Tortoise from a Zoo Rostock in Germany.

Although the pair are currently facing the challenges of a long-distance relationship, it’s making them grow stronger. A photo of Estrella sits nicely in Hugo’s enclosure, and he is getting washed at least once a week to keep himself looking smooth and shiny for when she arrives. Estrella will move to the Australian Reptile Park in the coming months to be with Hugo.

Image with caption

Daniel Rumsey, Head of Reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park said, “I couldn’t be more excited for Hugo! I knew Tinder would work for him because it’s worked on all of my friends!” Rumsey added, “He’s got a bit of an extra bounce in his step now, and we can tell he’s just as excited as the staff are to meet her.

Rumsey continued, “I can’t wait to meet her myself and get to know her personality! Who knows, maybe within the next few years we will have some baby Galapagos tortoises!”

Hugo has called the Australian Reptile Park near Gosford, just north of Sydney, home since 1963 after arriving at the Central Coast wildlife sanctuary as an infant.  He has now reached middle age (at the age of 68) and is ready to settle down. At 165kg he is fully grown and one of The Australian Reptile Park’s most popular animals. 

Visitors to the Australian Reptile Park are able to see Hugo on exhibit every day of the school holidays as well as get up close and personal with him on his daily walks.
The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo located the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle. Enjoy live entertaining shows, themed exhibits and interaction with many of the wildlife sanctuaries residents. The Park is open daily from 9am-5pm, with complimentary parking and BBQ facilities. More information atwww.reptilepark.com.au