These Galapagos Tortoises seem to enjoy human contact most, or maybe there’s an itch just.. right there.. no a little …to the left… these short legs are useless for this sorta thing!
The University of Florida, Psychology department, has completed some fascinating research examining the enrichment preferences of captive animals. In this case, do Galapagos tortoises prefer interacting with ‘play’ objects, the sprinkler, or getting a neck rub from one of their keepers? The hope being, any understanding of their preferences would assist keepers in providing them with the best possible environment.
For the three Galapagos tortoises studied? Their choice was human interaction. “Not only did they prefer keeper interaction overall compared to the traditional forms of enrichment,” Mehrkam said, “but the individual tortoises had preferences for the kind of interaction they wanted. Larry and Curly like having their necks rubbed. Moe liked the shell scrubbing.” (UFL.edu)
Why did they choose human interaction?? Well, that calls for further research… after curly gets his neck rub of course.