Competition launched to name Lincoln university tortoise

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The University of Lincoln is enlisting the help of members of the public in order to name one of the latest additions to a growing family of on-campus tortoises.

The university welcomed three new red-footed tortoises, which were donated by the tortoise, terrapin and turtle care and conservation charity British Chelonia Group.

The Cold-Blooded Cognition research group within the School of Life Sciences has already named two of the new additions, Ulli and Gerard.

They decided to ask others for their input after tortoise Charles Darwin gained fame by helping TV presenter Chris Packham officially open the University’s new Joseph Banks Laboratories in April 2015.

Charles Darwin, one of 24 red-footed tortoises who call the University of Lincoln home, hit the headlines all over the world after chewing through a ‘ribbon’ of his favourite snack – rocket – to declare the state-of-the-art labs open.


The social media campaign #nameourtortoise starts on runs until midnight on Thursday, June 25 2015.

Some of the names have already been added to the mix include Lord Voldemort, George and Booley.

To get involved and add their suggestion, people can tweet @unilincoln with their name suggestion and the reason for it, to be in with a chance of winning a University of Lincoln goodie bag and hooded top and meeting the tortoises in their home surroundings.

Dr Anna Wilkinson, who leads the Cold-Blooded Cognition research group, said: “We are extremely grateful to the British Chelonia Group for rehoming these tortoises with us. Not only can we provide an appropriate environment for them to live in but they can also help us develop our understanding of the cognitive capabilities of reptiles.

“We are interested in understanding how they perceive the world, how they learn about their environment and how they use and retain this information. They are extremely intelligent animals and generally work well for treats – their favourite being strawberries!”

A spokesperson for The British Chelonia Group added: “Our charity is happy to support this non-invasive, yet crucial research project of red-footed tortoises at the University of Lincoln, which will lead to a better understanding of intelligence in chelonia and their perception of the world.”

People can follow @coldbloodedcog on Twitter to keep up to date with the research group.