April 2016 ~ An interesting situation occurred recently with one of Bob Blome's Galapagos tortoises.  Read below and see photos.

Around the World

In the News

May 2015 ~ Necropsy performed on donated male Galapagos tortoise. (Video was shown at the TTPG 2015 conference, click "Videos" to view)

July 2015 ~ 10 newly hatched Galapagos tortoises have been discovered on Pinzon Island, this is the first time in more than a century that the island is home to hatchlings!

February 2015 ~ Azul, Akron Zoo's 25 year old Galapagos tortoise dies.

June 2015 ~ Speed 150 year old Galapagos dies at the San Diego Zoo.

August 2014 ~ Emerson, 100 year old Galapagos tortoise arrives at the Toledo Zoo.

August 2014 ~ Pepe, male Galapagos Tortoise, long time resident of a Franciscan missionary in the Galapagos Islands has died, he was 100 years old. 

November 2014 ~ Necropsy performed by

Dr. Funk & Wendy on donated female Galapagos tortoise.  (Video was shown at the 2015 TTPG conference, click "Videos" to view)

Bob Blome's Galapagos Tortoise

Written with Bob's permission.

An interesting situation occurred recently.  Bob Blome agreed to have his group of Galapagos Tortoises blood drawn for additional testing.  Dr. Funk and Wendy visited the Blomes' and Dr. Funk drew the blood.  Six days after the blood draw one of the youngest tortoises (3 years old) swelled up around her (she has been surgically sexed, she is a female) neck.  It initially appeared to be similar to what the older Galapagos that are in the study have.  Bob took her to Dr. Funk to be examined to determine what caused this swelling.  Upon examination, she had some nasal discharge, Dr.Funk aspirated the neck area where the swelling was and discovered that the swelling was air! There was no fluid! It was as if she somehow was puffing herself full of air!  Dr. Funk has never seen anything like this.  Because of the possible upper respiratory infection, Dr. Funk put her on a round of antibiotics.  The nasal discharge subsided after the antibiotic treatment, but the swelling remained for approximately 6 weeks. She has returned to her usual routine, eating, drinking, etc., what remains from this incident today, is a pea size lump on the left side of her neck, and very loose skin around her entire neck area.  There have been several reported instances where keepers have noticed that their Galapagos Tortoise develops a neck swelling when they have a respiratory infection.  Or that the swelling that has been there increases in size with the infection.  Could this all be connected to what we have been studying?  We don't have the answer to that question, yet!  Our work continues.............. 

"Our" World

August 2015 ~ Dr. Funk to speak at his annual vet conference in San Antonio, Texas announcing the initial results of testing.

MANY THANKS to Bob Blome for allowing us to share this experience.  Through open communication, sharing our experiences and brain storming all health issues, we, the Galapagos Tortoise Community, are helping to educate each other on health issues that specifically affect Galapagos Tortoises.

            The future of the Galapagos Tortoise is in our hands!