Giant Tortoise My Pet and Me


Giant Tortoise

Special edition of the factual series about pets. Rory meets Kiara and her father, who is a wildlife ranger, and they go in search of giant tortoises.


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Transcript


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-Hello, I'm Ferne...

-And I'm Rory.

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Welcome to My Pet and Me Specials.

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Today, we're in one of the most amazing places in the world.

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We've travelled all the way from the UK to just off the

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coast of Ecuador in South America, to the Galapagos Islands.

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We've made this trip to find out more about the most

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incredible wildlife on the planet.

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Some of the animals that live here cannot be found anywhere

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-else in the world.

-We're going to meet some children

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who live on the islands, who know more about these animals.

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-What are your plans today, Rory?

-I'm off to meet the animal that the

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-Galapagos Islands are named after.

-That sounds awesome, have fun.

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-Thanks very much. You can come with me too.

-Hasta luego.

-Hasta luego.

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# My pet My pet and me

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# My pet My pet and me

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# Down every street Are pets to meet

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# Some big, some small Some scaly, some furry

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# Some keep very still Some are always in a hurry

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# Some have four paws

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# Some have sharp claws

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-# Some quack

-Some bark

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-# Some purr

-Some moo

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-# Some grunt

-Some squawk

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# Some cock-a-doodle-doo

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# My pet My pet and me

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# My pet My pet and me

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# My pet My pet and me

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# Have you met My pet and me? #

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I'm here in Santa Cruz,

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which is the second-largest of the Galapagos Islands,

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and I'm here to meet Ciara and her dad. Let's go and find them.

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MUSIC PLAYS

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Hola, Ciara.

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-Hola, Rory.

-And you must be dad, hola.

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-Hola, Rory.

-I am very excited, because I think you are going to

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introduce me to one of the most famous animals in the Galapagos.

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-Is that right?

-Yes.

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Tell me about this animal, what does it look like?

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It has a long neck.

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OK, they have a long neck.

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-What else?

-A big shell.

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Right. Big shell.

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They can live a long time.

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Wow.

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How long can it live?

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Over 100 years.

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Over 100 years?!

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That is very old, I'm very impressed.

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-What size are they?

-They are very big.

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Wow. OK, so let me think about this.

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So it's got a long neck, a big shell,

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and it can live for over 100 years.

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It can only be a Galapagos giant tortoise.

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-Yes, Rory.

-Of course.

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And you have drawn a beautiful giant tortoise, here, haven't you?

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That's great. So, are we going to see a giant tortoise today?

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-Yes, Rory.

-Now, this is exciting.

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Galapagos giant tortoises are among the largest living land reptiles in

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the world. They can grow up to four feet in length,

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which is about the same height as Ciara,

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and they can be as heavy as four grown men.

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That's very heavy. You couldn't carry one, could you?

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No, Rory.

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So, Ciara, tell me how the Galapagos Islands got their name

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from the giant tortoise.

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-Galapagos means saddle in Spanish.

-Of course, yes.

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When Spanish sailors discovered the Galapagos Islands,

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they saw the giant tortoise and noticed some of their shells

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are shaped like a saddle.

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And the word, saddle, in Spanish is galapago.

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-And that's how the Galapagos Islands got their name.

-Exactly, Rory!

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That makes a lot of sense.

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You could say the giant tortoise is the most famous animal in

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-the Galapagos Islands.

-That's right.

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-You wouldn't have a giant tortoise as a pet, would you?

-No, Rory!

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Of course, because they're wild animals.

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-So where can we go and see them?

-In the Highlands National Park.

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Brilliant. Ferne, while we go up to the Highlands,

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can you tell us some cool facts about our big, ancient,

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-giant tortoise friends?

-Of course, Rory.

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There are lots of different species of Galapagos giant tortoise.

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Some of their shells are dome-shaped,

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and others are saddle-backed.

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Giant tortoises don't have any teeth, so they use the

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bony outer edges of their mouth to bite off and mash up food.

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Once in the mouth, the food is swallowed quickly.

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Tortoises have good eyesight, and this helps them find their food.

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Anything that is brightly coloured gets their attention.

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A giant tortoise's shell is partly made of bone,

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and it cannot be removed from the rest of their body.

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When they feel frightened or threatened, they can pull their head

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and legs inside their shell to help protect them.

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MUSIC PLAYS

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My Pet And Me!

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We've come to the Highlands of Santa Cruz

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to track the giant tortoises.

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Tracking means looking for signs of an animal, and trying to find them.

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-Why do they come to the Highlands?

-There's more food here.

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Yes, absolutely. There's more food here,

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because it's colder and a lot drier at this time of year.

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The tortoises have to move up lower land to find the food.

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Later in the year, when it's warmer and wetter,

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they go back down to lower land again.

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-So what do we need to do to look for the tortoises?

-Look down.

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Great, let's go then, come on.

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The Galapagos giant tortoises are a protected species,

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and Ciara's dad has a very special job, don't you?

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Yes, I am Galapagos National Park ranger.

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Brilliant, so you keep the giant tortoises safe and protected?

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-Yes, Rory.

-Fantastic.

-Well, I hope we find one soon.

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So what signs of the giant tortoise are we looking for?

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-A squashed plant.

-Ah, of course. Squashed plants.

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The flattened paths that they've made from walking, OK.

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-Look, Rory!

-Wow! Yes, there's one there.

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Let's go and take a closer look.

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This is awesome!

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Wow. These have a special name, don't they?

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-Tortoise highways.

-Absolutely.

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A highway is another word for a road,

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and this is a path that tortoises have made.

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OK, we must be close, they've got to be nearby.

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Let's keep looking.

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Look! Another sign.

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-Tortoise poo.

-Yes.

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Let's have a look at this.

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Galapagos tortoises are very large, so they need to eat a lot,

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and, of course, that means they poo a lot as well.

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But that is quite important, because they spread the seeds of the

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plants and fruit that they eat all around the island.

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They've got a special nickname, don't they, Dad?

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-Gardeners of the Galapagos.

-That is a cool nickname.

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Now, this poo looks and smells...

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..very fresh. So, where are they?

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Come on, Rory.

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Look, Rory, there are tortoises!

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Oh, yes, amazing! Let's go and have a closer look.

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Wow! Look at this guy eating!

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Let's get a closer look at this one.

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Look at that.

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You were not joking when you said they were very big.

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What an amazing creature, I can't believe the size!

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-What type of tortoises are they?

-Dome-shaped.

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That's right, they're dome-shaped tortoises.

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Dome-shaped tortoises are a great shape for pushing through the bushes

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and flattening them down so they can find their food.

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What clever creatures. What kind of things do they like to eat?

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-Grass and guava.

-Oh, delicious, grass and guava.

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Guava is a fruit found in many warm countries and tortoises love it.

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They're herbivores, do you know what that means?

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-They eat plants.

-Yes, absolutely right.

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Herbivores are vegetarians.

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Let's have a look at the tortoise, how do they move?

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-They walk slowly.

-Very slowly.

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You are a very good tortoise!

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Good work.

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-Let's find some more!

-Great idea, come on, let's go.

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Wow, look at all these guys!

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-What are they doing?

-They are having a mud bath.

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That's right, having a mud bath.

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Why do they need mud baths?

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-To keep cool.

-Absolutely right, yes.

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Just like pigs, giant tortoises love to wallow in the mud or water,

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to keep themselves cool in the heat.

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It's also a great way of keeping the bugs off them.

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It's a little bit messy, isn't it?

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There are a lot of tortoises here, aren't there?

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OK, look at this one moving.

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Very slowly, through the mud.

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And, look at these ones drinking.

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HE SLURPS

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They're chilling out.

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They really are, aren't they? It looks very relaxing.

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-Would you like a mud bath?

-No, Rory!

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Of course not! Come on, let's keep looking.

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-There are so many giant tortoises!

-Yeah, there are, look!

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Two big ones here, a big one behind us.

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Look at them all.

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I love watching them.

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Me too. And this guy's having a really good look at us, isn't he?

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I think he's going to eat soon.

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Look at him stretching his neck out. You can stretch your neck out?

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Stretch!

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And that long neck is great for helping them pull the grass

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from the ground. He's eating.

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Galapagos giant tortoises can eat for between

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five and seven hours a day.

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-That's a lot of munching, isn't it?

-Yes.

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However, they can go for a long time without eating or drinking anything

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at all, because they're so good at storing food and water. Incredible.

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Oh, look! A big yawn.

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HE YAWNS

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So, Ciara, how do you tell the difference between a male and a

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-female tortoise?

-The male has a bigger tail.

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That's right, the males have got a much bigger tail

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than the female tortoises.

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-What else is different?

-The male is bigger.

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Yes, the male is much, much bigger than the female.

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They can get really huge.

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Look at that guy behind us, there.

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-He is big!

-Yeah, really big!

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He must be quite old as well.

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Do you know how to tell that big tortoises are old?

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-They have a smooth shell.

-Yes, they do.

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The older tortoises have a very smooth shell,

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because they've been walking around for a long time,

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and those plates on the shell have worn away.

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Some of these tortoises must be over 100 years old.

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-That's a lot of birthday candles on the cake, isn't it?

-Yes.

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These ones must be a bit younger, because we can still see the bumps.

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-Yes.

-Very beautiful, aren't they?

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I would like to relax as much as a tortoise,

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because they can sleep up for to 16 hours a day.

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It would be wonderful to be a Galapagos giant tortoise.

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-Chilled out all the time.

-Yeah, Rory.

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My Pet And Me!

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Giant tortoises are amazing creatures, aren't they?

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-They're my favourite.

-I can see why. They're beautiful.

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But if they could do anything, what do you think they'd do?

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If the giant tortoises could do anything,

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they would go to a water park.

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They would have great fun lying down

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through the water slide on their shell.

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They will make huge splashes when they land in the water,

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because they are so big.

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Splashy splash!

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We've come to a very special centre in Santa Cruz that plays an

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important part in protecting Galapagos giant tortoises.

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So, Ciara, what can we hope to see today?

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-It's a surprise, Rory!

-I love surprises!

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Let's go!

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Wow! Baby giant tortoises!

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They are gorgeous!

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This is incredible, look!

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How many are there?

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Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, once,

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doce, trece, catorze, quince, dieciseis, diecisiete, dieciocho.

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18 baby giant tortoises! Aren't they adorable? Look at them!

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These baby tortoises have been in the centre since they were tiny

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eggs, when they were collected from the wild by rangers.

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On the Galapagos Islands, there are dogs, pigs and rats,

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that have been eating the eggs of giant tortoises.

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When the eggs are collected and brought here, they're kept safe,

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until the tortoises are big enough to be reintroduced

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back into the wild. What an amazing job they do here.

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-What are they like?

-They have a tiny shell.

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Yes, it's very small, but it's going to be very big one day.

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-It will be very big!

-Si.

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They walk quite quickly, don't they? Much faster than the adults.

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-Look, he's eating.

-Yes, he is.

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Nibbling away on a leaf, there.

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Mmm, delicious.

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Those tiny little mouths.

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Even though they're very small, they still have a very strong neck.

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-They are strong.

-Si.

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-And how old are these baby tortoises?

-One year.

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One-year-old, they're very cute.

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And it's hard to imagine that one day,

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these tiny baby tortoises are going to grow

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into the big Galapagos giant tortoises

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we saw earlier today, isn't it?

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Yes, Rory. It is incredible.

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How old will they be when they're released back into the wild?

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-Four or five years.

-Wow.

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-So these guys have got a few more years to go.

-Yes.

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Do you think these guys will enjoy having a big mud bath

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-when they're older?

-Yes, Rory.

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They've only got this little bath just now.

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But when they're giant, they're going to have a huge mud bath

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to squelch around in.

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This is a fantastic surprise. Look how cute they are!

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I feel so lucky to have seen baby giant tortoises,

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they are just incredible.

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Ciara, I've had such a brilliant time finding out

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about these very special animals. Thank you very much.

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You're welcome, Rory.

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My Pet And Me!

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-Hi, Ferne.

-Hi, Rory.

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Check out all of these marine iguanas! It's so special!

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-I know!

-There's loads. So, how was it?

-Oh, Ferne, it was awesome.

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Ciara and I managed to track giant tortoises,

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and we even got to see little baby ones at the centre!

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That sounds incredible. You're so lucky!

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I feel privileged to have seen such awesome creatures in the wild,

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and to see what the local people are doing to protect them.

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Thank you for spending time with us,

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we just love sharing our animal adventures with you.

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# Look where we've been

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# Look what we've seen

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# Thank you so much for showing us

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# The animals of the Galapagos

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# On land or sea So much to seek

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-# Iguanas, crab

-And turtles too

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-# Flamingos, sharks

-A giant tortoise or two

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# Amazing wildlife to look at

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# In its natural habitat

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# Animals we've not seen before

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# Come back soon and see some more

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# My pet, my pet and me

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# My pet, my pet and me

0:18:320:18:35

# My pet, my pet and me

0:18:350:18:38

# Come back and see

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# My pet and me. #

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ALL: Bye.

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Rory meets Kiara and her father who is a wildlife ranger. They head into the highlands to search for the giant tortoise. Later on they go to a rearing centre to watch some baby tortoises and learn how the parks are protecting the species.


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