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  • Writer's pictureInge BB

Meet Our Ninja Turtles: The Beloved Tortoises of Our Hotel

Leopard tortoises
Leonardo & Donatella

In our hotel, guests have the unique opportunity to meet our charming tortoises, who reside in a specially designed enclosure. The first four tortoises that joined us were named after the famous Ninja Turtles! Get to know Leonardo, Donatella, Raphaelo, Michelangelo, and all the others up close.

Here, we, the fascinating tortoises, would like to introduce ourselves. We live in a specially designed enclosure at this hotel. Dive into our amazing world and discover what makes us so special.

tortoise walking

Unique Physical Traits
Our rear legs are very strong and trunk-like, while our front legs are almost paddle-shaped and "pigeon-toed," with a row of small "nails." Despite our seemingly cumbersome build, we can move quickly and maneuver easily over rocky terrain. We are also adept climbers and can stay underwater for up to 10 minutes.

Masters of Thermoregulation
As cold-blooded reptiles, we need to minimize extreme seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations through appropriate behaviors to maintain an optimal body temperature. An important role in this type of thermoregulation is the exploration of suitable shelters throughout the year and at different times of the day.
leopard tortoises love banana
Raphaelo & Michelangelo love banana

Longevity and Maturity
We tortoises are known for our impressive longevity. We typically reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 to 15 years. This long lifespan ensures that we have enough time to contribute to the reproduction of our species.

Mating and Reproduction
During the mating season, the males become more aggressive towards other males, often trying to banish them by ramming their carapaces. Males "court" females by ramming them. When mating, the males make grunting vocalizations, which are the only vocal sounds of our species.
To lay our eggs, we dig a bottle-shaped pit with our hind legs and lay 5 to 18 hard-shelled, round to slightly ellipsoidal eggs. The subsequent incubation period varies widely, with natural breeding seasons observed from 178 to 458 days. The hatchlings are about five centimeters in size when they emerge.

a tortoise love story
Tortoise couple

Leonardo & Donatella: A Tortoise Love Story

Leonardo and Donatella are more than just two of our cherished tortoises—they're a couple with a heartwarming love story. Leonardo, born in 2003, was our first tortoise, originally living with private owners in Stone Town. Donatella, around the same age, on the other hand, lived in a small enclosure in the Jozani Forest.

The owners of Donatella hoped to see offspring, so we brought her to our hotel for a planned stay of four weeks. The moment we placed Donatella in the enclosure with Leonardo, something magical happened. Donatella immediately ran to Leonardo and nestled her head against his shell—it was love at first sight.

We promptly informed Donatella's owners that the two could not be separated. Since then, Leonardo and Donatella have produced a large number of offspring, who now live happily with them in the enclosure.

Their story is a testament to the surprising and beautiful connections that can form between animals. Leonardo, Donatella, and their many children are a highlight of our hotel, embodying the spirit of togetherness and affection.

We invite you to visit our hotel and meet our tortoise family in person. From the love story of Leonardo and Donatella to the playful antics of their offspring, we offer an enchanting experience for all our guests. Come and explore the fascinating world of our remarkable reptiles!

By understanding and appreciating their unique characteristics and behaviors, you can help protect and cherish them for generations to come.

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