The Seychelles Government has donated two giant tortoises to the World Expo 2010, due to be held in Shanghai, China.
A delegation from the host country was in Seychelles last week, to prepare and have a better insight into the living and breeding of the tortoise, which is a traditional symbol for the archipelago.
Tortoises are protected in Seychelles and live naturally on many islands.
On Aldabra, which is a World UNESCO site, there are over 150,000 giant tortoises and this outnumbers the population of Seychelles which stands at 85,000.
Besides meeting with several local experts and visiting the natural habitats of the tortoises, the Chinese delegation also met with members of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) during their visit.
The chairman of STB, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, himself a tortoise enthusiast, said such a donation to the People’s Republic of China was an important one. He spoke of the love so many Seychellois have for tortoises and how the animal represents an iconic symbol for the nation.
He pledged his help as well as that of STB and the Seychelles Island Foundation, whom he also chaired, to the well being and upkeep of the tortoises in China.
picture: Seychelles Tourism Board: STB Chairman Lalanne addresses the Chinese delegation