Giant tortoises!

Saturday 1st April comments: We have Giant Tortoises! Due to the sensitive nature of the news, we have been holding back but today we can reveal the remarkable story that the Isle of May now has a population of Giant Tortoise.

As reported earlier this week, the Isle of May reserve staff returned for a new season on Monday and as usual, were busy settling in, cleaning accommodation and checking on the returning seabirds across the island. They then came across the remarkable sight of several large tortoise feeding across the island, amongst the resident Puffins and rabbits.

These large animals, more at home on islands in the Pacific, appear quite content, appear to be fit and healthy and feeding well. The islands reserve manager David Steel commented “we were shocked to discover our new guests on our return and we suspect they arrived during some strong westerly winds during the winter”. Regardless of how they made it to the Isle of May, David is already seeing some benefits as he explains “because they are slow moving animals, some species such as Arctic Tern may nest on the back of them, providing good mobile homes”

The new residence look happy amongst the Puffins and will prove worthwhile, keeping vegetation low to allow ground nesting seabirds a chance to nest when they return. This unlikely conservation match has certainly raised a few eyebrows but if you are visiting the island this summer, remember to check out our new additions. You just couldn’t make this up, or could you? Thanks to Cristin Lambert for the photos.

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