Tortoise Auction Raises £720,500

Credit; Durrell

The sale of Durrell's Takeover Tortoises has raised £720,500 towards a new reptile house at Jersey Zoo.

The sculptures that many of us spent the summer searching for, and taking 'shell-fies' with, went under the hammer last night (22 September)

The Tortoise Takeover trail was a big hit, with thousands of people getting involved in the online scavenger hunt.

It followed the success of the 2019 Go Wild Gorillas sculpture trail, which raised more than £1.1m towards a new enclosure.

The large tortoises had a starting price of £3,400.

The biggest-selling shell of the night were 'Not Fast Food' by Donna Newman, which had been transformed into a giant burger.  It fetched £26,000.

That was followed by Abi Overland's design 'Stay Gold and 'Shell-f Reflection' by the Beach, which both sold for £25,000.


But it was Nick Romeril's hare, which joined the trail in a nod to the famous Aesop fable, 'The Tortoise and the Hare', that sparked the biggest bidding battle.  'Love to Run' went under the hammer for £100,000.

The two-metre tall hare was moved around the island to a different location each week throughout July and August.

Three small specially-commissioned sculptures joined the sale, including one by Gabriella Street who designed 'Sanctuary' which spent the summer at Mont Orgueil castle and which was not for sale because it is being given to Princess Anne in honour of her 50 year patronage of the charity.

The other small tortoises will return to the schools and community groups who designed them.

Check out what all the tortoises sold for here:



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