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Walter Chimborazo

Walter Chimborazo The Tortoise Expert

Walter and I can be found almost every day at the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Santa Cruz Island. To restore Galapagos’ most endangered species, I am a field assistant for the Galapagos National Park Directorate. We ensure their daily needs are met.

The animals are fed fresh plants, such as Porotillo (Common Coral Bean), and Otoy, (Arrowleaf) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We focus on the maintenance of the tortoises’ corrals. Every part of the corrals should be cleaned, including the platforms where the tortoises eat, and the pools that they use to cool off and quench their thirst. In the corrals where the adult tortoises are kept, vegetation control is a constant task. They need sunlight to regulate their body temperature. This requires that they have access to sunnier areas that are not overgrown by plants.

This is the hard work of raising these tortoises. It starts at 7:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm. Some weeks, especially during nesting seasons, I can work seven straight days, checking eggs in incubators and setting the temperature for optimal incubation.

The best thing about my work is watching the tortoises develop, something that is not available to everyone. People can now adopt a Giant Tortoise through the innovative sponsorship program. They will thrive in the breeding centre before being released. To care for these amazing animals, visit

“Walter Chimborazo and our Park Rangers collaborate in the special care of the Giant Tortoises Galapagos. We are grateful for his contribution to conservation of this species. We are thankful to have him and Galapagos Conservancy by our side.”
Danny Rueda
Director, Galapagos National Park
Walter feeding Giant tortoises with Otoy
Walter feeding Giant tortoises with Otoy © Galápagos Conservancy