5-speed listening (Level 2)

Galapagos tortoises out of danger






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Giant Galapagos tortoises were a symbol for endangered animals. In the 1960s, there were just 15 of them. They were dying out. Wild goats were eating their food and damaging their habitat, so conservationists took action to help them. Now, the tortoises are doing well. There are over 1,000 of them living and breeding in the wild. It is a conservation success story. Conservationist James Gibb said that about half of the tortoises that were released have survived. Mr Gibbs added: "That’s actually pretty amazing." He added that the tortoises could now survive without human help.

Giant tortoises used to live all over the world. People hunted them so they almost became extinct. There were over 250,000 in the 16th century and just a few thousand in the 1970s. Giant tortoises can weigh up to 250 kg and can live for over 100 years. One tortoise lived in captivity for more than 170 years. Wikipedia says: "Tortoises also live very uncomplicated lives, and can nap up to 16 hours a day." The conservation story in the Galapagos Islands will continue. Next year, a small island that lost all of its tortoises a few years ago will get 200 more.

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