Wai Warrior message brings tasty reward for leopard tortoises

14 June 2019

They might be slow but two new leopard tortoises at NPDC’s Brooklands Zoo have been quick off the mark to take up the Wai Warrior message.

Kids will help newcomers Kobe and Kamba to settle in with some tasty treats thanks to a new rainwater tank installed next to their habitat.

“We’re encouraging children to use it to water the plants that the tortoises will eat, so they’ll be actively involved in the care of our new animals,” says NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford.

The rainwater will also be used for cleaning paths and the tortoises’ new home.

“It’s a chance for visitors to think about how they might store and use rainwater around their own homes. We can all make small changes in our water use that can add up to a big saving,” says Mr Langford.

“We’re really happy that we can combine a fun new animal habitat with smart and easy water-saving tips.”

Brooklands Zoo has been exploring ways to reduce its water use. Initiatives including the recently upgraded otter enclosure water recycling system could save as much as 90% of the water used by the zoo.

Leopard tortoises fast facts

  • The leopard tortoises were born in Auckland Zoo but have come to Brooklands Zoo from Ti Point Reptile Park in Auckland. 
  • Kobe (Swahili for ‘tortoise’) and Kamba (‘tortoise shell’) are currently 30cm long and weigh 3kg-5kg.
  • They’re expected to grow up to 2ft/32kg, and can live for up to 100 years.

Brooklands Zoo fast facts

  • Brooklands Zoo opened in 1965.
  • Zoo is open seven days a week and is visited by more than 110,000 people each year.
  • It’s home to a diverse range of species from farm animals to meerkats.
  • As well as the leopard tortoises, another recent addition was a scheltopusik, or European legless lizard.
Leopard tortoises at Brooklands Zoo