Lonely Galapagos Tortoise Finds The Love Of His Life On Tinder

Hugo swiped right to find the One.

turtle in grassy field Charl Durand / Pexels

Anyone who’s tried online dating has their fair share of horror stories, from matches who look nothing like their profile picture to the people who spend the whole date talking only about themselves.

Yet, for every nightmare first date, there’s a shining example of finding love against all odds, which was certainly true for Hugo, a Galapagos Tortoise from Australia.

After 70 years alone, the lonely Galapagos Tortoise found the love of his life on Tinder.

Hugo the Galapagos Tortoise is a one-of-kind creature, as he’s a member of the 12 endangered subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise that still exist today.

@thatgoodnewsgirl A lonely tortoise turned to online dating to find a girlfriend after previously attempting to start a relationship with a rock. 🪨 Thanks to tortoise tinder, he met Estrella, and the couple moved in together after carrying on a long-distance relationship via video calls first. 🐢Hugo and Estrella live at the Australian Reptile Park and they post regular updates about their animals! ❤️See more from the couple: @AustReptilePark📸 Australian Reptile Park#tortoise #galapagostortoise #relationshipgoals #animalcouple #relationships #couplethings #wildlife #reptiles ♬ original sound - jenn💜 good news & fun stories

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Hugo had made a nice little life for himself at the Australian Reptile Park, where he’s lived since 1963 when he was brought there as an ambassador for his endangered species.

The giant tortoise’s hobbies include eating watermelon, nibbling grass, swimming, and having his neck scratched by his adoring caretakers.

While Hugo has always been well-cared for by his human companions, he couldn’t help but feel like something was missing from his life.


He started showing signs of loneliness, which culminated in trying to start romances with various inanimate objects and animals from other species.

First, Hugo initiated a relationship with a goose named Lenny. When that relationship fizzled out, he tried to get close to a shell-shaped rock in his habitat, but the rock didn’t exactly return his affection.

turtle Ellie Burgin / Pexels


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Galapagos Tortoises weren’t always so rare, yet mistreatment by humans put the giant reptiles on the endangered species list.

Two hundred years ago, the Galapagos Islands housed 200,000 giant tortoises. Now, four species of tortoise are extinct, and only 10% of the original number remain alive.

Whalers in the 19th century used these majestic tortoises as food. In recent years, their habitats have been endangered by predation and human contact.

There are many conservation efforts working to protect the tortoises who are still alive while also trying to repopulate the species overall. 


turtle in the wild Ata Y / Pexels

Galapagos Tortoises are a protected species, which means there are various restrictions in place that make it difficult to just acquire one, much to Hugo’s disappointment.

Yet Hugo’s caretakers weren’t going to let him continue living alone.

The Reptile Park made an online dating profile for Hugo, seeking a wildlife sanctuary with another tortoise who was single and ready to mingle.

A zoo in Germany offered a potential match for Hugo: a 21-year-old Galapagos Tortoise named Estrella.


Hugo swiped right, and the two tortoises took the first steps to start a long-distance relationship.

Estrella had to be quarantined before she and Hugo could meet IRL, so the tortoises had regular FaceTime dates to get to know each other.

When they finally got together face to face, sparks flew, and the rest was turtle true love history.


Hugo and Estrella spend their days together like any other couple in love. They share snacks, go bite for a bite on delicious cactus leaves, and generally enjoy each other’s company in their protected habitat.

@australianreptilepark Hugo VS Estrella - which Galapagos tortoise has the best table manners when eating a delicious prickly pear snack? 🐢🌵 #animals #tortoise #asmr ♬ original sound - AustReptilePark

Their once-in-a-lifetime turtle romance goes to show that none of us are ever truly alone.

Sometimes, all it takes to find the One is staying open to every possibility, letting our guards down, and leaving our comfort zones — all in the name of love. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.