Meet the giant tortoises! 06 May
I got my first tortoise when I was about four. I started asking my mum and dad for a pet, such as a dog, but was allergic to all animals with fur, hair and feathers so I couldn't have one. To pacify me, I was offered the alternative of fish or tortoise.. I went with a tortoise (without actually knowing what one was!) and walked to the pet shop one day to buy one - and I've had them all my life ever since!
I subsequently grew out of my allergies and now have a whole range of pets, including horses, sheep, rabbit, duck, turkey, fish, finches, dog, chickens, pygmy goats - and more!
I saw my first giant tortoise at Chester Zoo when I was about eight, and from that moment I always knew that one day owning my own giant Aldabra was going to be one of my life ambitions. I worked towards that goal ever since, and now have a thriving group of giant torts, which are an extreme hobby and passion and will be a massive part of my life for the rest of my days.
Aldabra torts have never been bred in Europe or the UK, so it would be nice to understand these animals well enough and to provide the ultimate home environment and conditions for them to be the first to successfully breed.
Three years ago I gave up my life and work down south and moved up to Lincolnshire just for the giant tortoises, so they can have the space, land and facilities to provide everything they need for their future. It is a massive ongoing project which will take a lot of time and investment, but there are exciting plans for the future and when the work is done I hope to allow visitors to come and see the tortoises. Additionally, for them to take part in research programmes, keeper training, medical studies and to regularly monitor and keep records over the coming years in order to improve our understanding of these animals and to be able to provide the best environmental conditions possible. That way, future generations of Aldabra giants can benefit in zoos and private collections around the world, and just maybe help to improve their chances of survival in the future.
We can't wait to welcome Adrian and his group of giant Aldabra tortoises to the 132nd Lincolnshire Show - you can catch them on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 June 2016. See you there!