Best known of all our tortoises is Brutus. He is believed to be at least 160 years old and weighs approximately 200kg (450lbs). His shell length is almost 1.5m (5 feet).

This estimate for Brutus’ age is probably a conservative one, as these amazing creatures can live to well over 200. In later life Brutus has acquired reflective strips on his shell to prevent traffic accidents with golf buggies, as he is in the habit of resting on the Island’s sandy tracks at night. For the same reason, baby tortoises found on North Island are kept in the tortoise pen near the environmental centre until they have reached the size of a coconut.