Explorer Stumbles Upon Mating Tortoises, Leading to Comical Chase
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/Childzy
The tortoises on Assumption Island in the Republic of Seychelles just north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean value their privacy when attempting to procreate.
Just ask expedition leader Paul Rose, who recently became the target of an angry male tortoise in what can only be considered the most hilarious pursuit ever witnessed.
In a post on National Geographic's website last week, Rose, a Pristine Seas expedition leader, described his close and comical encounter with the angry reptilian bachelor:
"Walking across the island I was drawn toward a powerful rhythmic grunting coming from dense bushes and was delighted to find that it was two giant tortoises mating—a beautiful thing to witness. I did the obvious and—together with Neil Gelinas, our film producer—sat in the grass, quiet, almost holding my breath for fear of disturbing them. Inevitably the gigantic male (which can weigh up to 660 pounds—and this one was very close to that weight) spotted or smelled us and, with a look and an attitude that we can all understand, came over to exert his rights to the female, his bit of the island, and some privacy."
Rose admits that he expected the tortoise to retreat after realizing what he was up against, but points out that "there was absolutely no stopping him—he got close, very close, close enough that his snorting and spitting plus the look in his enraged eyes above his snapping powerful beak made us retreat in a panic."
In the below video published to YouTube by the National Geographic last week, you can watch as a surprised Rose and a cameraman slowly retreat after stumbling upon the two tortoises behind the bushes:
While there's simply no debating the entertainment value of such an anticlimactic animal encounter, Rose notes that you can never count out Mother Nature.
"The male's fierce response to our presence nearby also reminds me to never, ever interrupt a mating session!"
More by Patrick Clarke
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