Harriet - Giant Galapagos Land TortoisePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Tom Bird

The sculpture commemorates "Harriet", the giant Galapagos Land Tortoise.

The Giant Galapagos land tortoise known as "Harriet" died of a suspected heart attack in June 2006 at the age of 175 and held the Guinness World Records title as the oldest living animal in captivity.

Harriet’s life which began when she – or he, as she was then thought to be – was hatched on the volcanic Galapagos Islands, west of Ecuador in South America, in 1830. British naturalist Charles Darwin, whose theories of evolution and natural selection changed the world, visited the islands in 1835 and collected three tortoises named Tom, Dick and Harry to study in the United Kingdom 

But they did not prosper there and were brought to Queensland by John Wickham when he was appointed governor-resident of the colonial settlement of Moreton Bay, which was later to become Brisbane. When Wickham returned to England in 1860 he bequeathed the tortoises to the local Botanic Gardens, where a zoo was established and they remained attractions into the next century.


Address:1638 Steve Irwin Way , Australia Zoo, Beerwah, 4519
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -26.838493
Long: 152.959481
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 15th November, 2006
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au