Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

We will take a break from blogging, catch up on all the gossip over the break in the New Year!
Have a great Christmas and New Year from Henry.

Fresh Skin!

All of the adult tuatara shed their skin at this time of the year, and we look ever so gorgeous after the old skin comes off. Our nice, new and fresh skin has much more colour than last seasons! Sometimes we have trouble getting the old skin off, Lindsay helps us by taking us into the laboratory, putting us in water and magically our skin just falls off! What a relief, if we can’t get our old skin off it is like walking or should I say, sitting around in a wetsuit. It is very hard to move!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Our visitors

Some of today's lovely visitors with Lindsay.
If we have taken your photo in the Tuatarium and you would like a copy of your photo, please email us at

Unhappy boys!

This is the face of an unhappy chap. This young guntheri is a mare 22 years old and has been exiled from the lady guntheris'. Now you may be wondering why on earth this fine specimen has been taken away from his girlfriends, well the answer is simple - over the last few years the four girls have laid 7 lots of eggs and none of them have been fertilised.

But we can't put all the blame on this fella, he has been living with two other males as well as the four girls. So in order to find out who's 'not working' as they should, Lindsay has taken two boys out and left one lad to the four ladies!

Now I just don't agree with that. He can't have more girlfriends than me - I will have to ask Lindsay for another!

Til next time, Henry.

Friday, 16 September 2011

What a busy week!

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I am also in the Southland Express this week! (Thursday 15th September 2011) Lindsay took me out to show me off as a part of the A taste of Southland event. Being the show stealer that I am... I was the crowd's favourite!

In the paper again!

Hello again!
It seems I just can't keep out of the headlines! Here is a link to the latest article about me from the Southland Times. Shame the photo wasn't of me tho....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Girls have been busy!

It is a beautiful spring day here in the deep south and the girls have been busy digging. They are looking for the perfect spot to lay their eggs - as you can see in the photo.
It looks like we have a resident rabbit living in the Tuatarium!

I have some more bad news I'm afraid - only 4 out of 16 eggs laid by Mildred have survived, all the rest have gone rotten!

Come and visit us soon, Henry.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New Friends!

Hi All!

Time for an update on this weeks events. Mildred has laid 16 eggs which is great but unfortunately we have had no luck with Juliet's - they have all gone rotten! Boy... I hope we have better luck next year!

On a positive note, I have made some new friends and need to say a big hello to "Room 4 at Otautau School". (Otautau is in Western Southland.) I look forward to all your questions and hopefully will get to see you on the big screen!

Til then,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Season has began

Yes, the season has began - early! Juliet has laid 12 eggs. Of course they are my (Henry's) eggs! Juliet is a mere 31 years old, a spring chicken compared to me and has been my girlfriend for the last 10 years. She has laid 7 times previously, starting at the age of 13 years old but unfortunately none of her eggs have ever been viable, even with me being the Sire. The eggs all go rotten within two weeks, no one knows why. I swear I'm doing my job right! Fingers crossed for this lot!
Til next time, Henry.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Time for an update

Hi All,

It's been a busy old time here at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery, with winter on the way we tend to spend more time keeping warm rather than on show! 

I can also proudly say that I am a dad again, with five new kids! This couldn't have happened at a better time - we haven't had good survival rates so far!

Lindsay Hazley, the Southland Museum and Art Gallery's tuatara expert (and my number one care-taker), took home the environmental achiever trophy for his work with us (the tuatara). Also you might not know, but Lindsay has been caring for me since 1972! So a big congratulations to Lindsay is in order.
Til next time,

Friday, 15 April 2011

Do we measure up!!

It's that time of year again. Every six months Lindsay weighs and measures us. There are about 100 animals in the Tuatarium, all of them get their annual check up!

All the Adults are micro-chipped, all animals are once they reach 5 years old.  This makes it easier for Lindsay to know who we are. 

I (Henry) haven't grown for around 40 years - therefore I am as big as we get!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Our first skype

Today we had our first skype with a class in Hamilton! This is a fantastic chance to get to talk to Lindsay - our tuatara expert, ask questions and to see a live tuatara if your not from the Southland region.

If you are interested in arranging a skype date for education purposes, contact Colin Anderson - Coordinator of Education & Visitor Services.



The Process

Taken from our nice spot in the Tuatarium and picked up for weigh in

Lindsay then weighs us to check our growth

He then measures the length of our tails and compares it from the last 6 months

This process allows Lindsay to track every one of the Tuataras' growth. Tuatara have a large growth period over the summer, this is due to warmer weather and eating more.

Til next time,

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A big Hello!!

I would  like to say a BIG HELLO to Sally McDougall and her class of Year 1 & 2 pupils at Hill Crest Normal in Hamilton.   

Hopefully we can catch up on Skype!


Monday, 28 March 2011

Winter is here

Good Afternoon!

Sorry I have been a bit slack on posting in the last few days. I am well and truly, positive that winter is on the way, that's why I have been busy making the most of the warmer days - by chasing Juliet, Lucy and Mildred around! With this cooler weather I'm only getting fed once a week. To make matters worse, when it starts to freeze I won't get fed for two or three months!!!

Well better get back to it...

Friday, 18 March 2011

Famous Visitors

Ryhs Darby and some Museum staff

I am always attracting famous people to the Tuatarium.

This is Rhys Darby with some of the Museum staff. I'm told he is rather famous! What a nice chap he was.

Below is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, she is the patron of the Southland Museum & Art Gallery.

Dame Kiri with me (Henry)

Two weeks on..

The newest babies are two weeks old already. Aren't they cute?

No, they aren't.

They are taking all the attention away from me. Those little rascals are always on the go, they should learn to keep still!

Come and check them out today, and me of course!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday - What a wonderful day!

Posing again!

This image is very misleading, its currently hosing down outside! Lucky we are nice and cosy inside.

Well everyone has gone home for the night and the Museum is locked up. Soon we will all be out to play, the night time is most exciting in the Tuatarium!

I might fill you in tomorrow... if you're lucky!
Checking out the newest baby Tuatara

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Feed Me!!

This isn't me - I'm much better looking than this kid!
We LOVE eating Huhu Grubs!

If you know where some big juicy ones live feel free to bring them in for us, so we don't have to eat the babies. (Just kidding, that doesn't happen - much!)

Ever seen baby Tuatara hatching?

Baby Tuatara emerging from an egg
Lindsay took these the other day. The newest babies at the Musuem!
Everyone is out!

The Big Time

Left to Right: Lindsay Hazley, Carla Braun-Elwert and Jane Adcroft
Did you know I'm really famous!!!
Check out my bow tie. That's my feeder and pal Lindsay Hazley holding me. We have a mutual understanding, he feeds me Huhu grubs and I pose in fantastic photos for him.

The two lassies are Carla Braun-Elwert and Jane Adcroft, they are filmmakers from Dunedin. They made a film about me called "Love in Cold Blood".

Its about my girlfriend Mildred and I. We had a turbulent relationship, I thought it was just the age difference as shes only 80 years old. Next thing I no I'm being told I have a tumor - in my BUM! Long story short, they removed it and now Mildred and I are deeply in love. We have hundreds of offspring! Not bad for an old fella aye! 

Check them out!

Aren't they cute!!!
These are second generation babies.
I do make good looking kids if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My first Post

Look at moi!!
Hi everyone, I'm Henry!

I've been living at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery for longer than I can remember... that may have something to do with my age though. I am 110 years old, or so my cobber and care-taker Lindsay Hazley tells me! (Some-times I think he makes it up so I feel older!)

I'm going to keep you all updated with whats happening around the Museum and my other Tuatara friends!

Remember I am old and wise so ask me any questions you might have about us Tuatara!