5-speed listening (Level 1)

Galapagos tortoises out of danger






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Giant Galapagos tortoises were once endangered. In the 1960s, there were just 15 of them. They were dying out. Wild goats ate their food and damaged their habitat. Conservationists acted to help them. Now, there are over 1,000 of them living and breeding in the wild. It is a conservation success story. A conservationist said that half of the tortoises that were released have survived. He said the tortoises could now live without human help.

There were 250,000 giant tortoises worldwide 500 years ago, but just a few thousand in the 1970s. Hunters almost made them extinct. Giant tortoises can weigh 250kg and live for 100 years. One tortoise lived for more than 170 years. Wikipedia says: "Tortoises also live very uncomplicated lives, and can nap up to 16 hours a day." Next year, a small Galapagos island that lost all of its tortoises will get 200 more. This could be another success story.

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