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My new best friend - Phil the Giant Tortoise

By Sarah Kukral 3 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

One very exciting thing about volunteering is meeting people from different countries and making new friends. So now I’m going to tell you about my new best friend.


Yesterday it seemed to be a day on Curieuse as usual. We had breakfast at 7:30am and left our camp at 8:30am to do a morning of beach profiling. We walked to the Rangers Station to start our work at Anse Laraie beach. When we arrived we had a little bit of a wait until the tide was low enough, but we were actually happy about it; the Rangers Station is a great place to wait and hang out with all the Aldabra Giant Tortoises!

I took out my camera and wanted to take some pictures and to say hello to some of the tortoises. I actually wanted to see the biggest one of the tortoises, named McGregor, but I couldn’t find him; doesn’t matter, I’ll come back! The first one I came to seemed too busy eating to say hi back, so I moved on to another one. And this was a really good decision. When I first met number 92 (they all have numbers on their shells to allow us to identify them for the annual census) I put my backpack on the ground to drink some water. And number 92 came right up and tried to eat my backpack! I took my backpack away and this little (although probably decades older than me!) guy looked at me in such a friendly way. This was the moment it was decided – we are super best friends now!


I stayed a while with him (or her?) scratched his head, took some photos and when it was time to leave I said good-bye. I looked back at him and felt like my friend said good-bye, too. I told the other ones about my new best friend and we decided to call him Phil. Phil, I really hope you are a boy, if not I’ll call you Phil even though you’re a girl. I’ll come visit you next week on our way to a turtle patrol. I’m sure our friendship will last forever!