When noted beetle eater Charles Darwin arrived at the Galapagos Islands to survey the local flora and fauna, he was so enthralled with the giant tortoises that he just had to ride them. And, as was his custom with newly encountered species, he also ate many of them. He named the unlucky James Island specimens as the tastiest tortoises in the land.
You can (obviously) no longer take such liberties with the giant reptiles of the Galapagos. And while they never made for great transportation they’re great photo subjects. Take this old gal for example, dramatically photographed by Flickr user m24instudio. She seems to communicate with that one eye all of the existential gravity of the slow-motion tortoise lifestyle.
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[Photo credit: Flickr user m24instudio]
A fort in The Gambia that was instrumental in stopping the slave trade has been given a new museum, the Daily Observer reports.
Fort Bullen was one of two forts at the mouth of the River Gambia, placed there in 1826 to stop slave ships from sailing out into the Atlantic. It stands on the north bank of the river, and along with Fort James on the south bank constitutes a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Fort Bullen has been open to visitors for some time and tourism officials hope the new museum will add to its attractiveness as a historic site.
The museum was financed by the British High Commission in The Gambia. The country used to be a British colony. The British Empire abolished slavery in 1807 and soon took steps to eradicate it throughout its domains. Of course, before that time the empire made huge profits from the slave trade, with the River Gambia being one of its major trading centers for human flesh. One hopes this aspect of British history isn’t ignored in the new museum.
[Photo courtesy Leonora Enking]