Underfloor Heating Keeps London Zoo Tortoises Toasty
London Zoo recently called on the unique qualities of underfloor heating when seeking the ideal conditions to help conserve a rare species of giant tortoise. The zoo was seeking the best conditions for a specialist exhibition of Galapagos tortoises, and wanted the reptiles’ environment to be as cosy and welcoming as possible. Underfloor heating engineers then installed a heated mat under the pool and throughout the tortoises’ enclosure, which was controlled by a digital thermostat.
The underfloor heating mimicked effectively their normal habitat in the Galapagos Islands, which lie on the equator to the west of Ecuador. The Galapagos tortoise population has fallen from over 250,000 in the 16th century to just 3,000 today, with hunting for meat and oil, loss of habitat and predation from non-native species introduced by sailors and settlers, such as rats, goats and pigs, which eat their eggs. Hopefully the London Zoo tortoises, with their underfloor heating, will have an easier time of it!