Tuatara arrivals craving the heat

Lucky visitors to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, near Dunedin, may spot two young tuatara relaxing in the centre's new tuatara viewing pen.

The $5000 pen houses two 4-year-old tuatara from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

On warm days they emerge from the pen's two tunnels - but they were not budging when the Otago Daily Times visited at feeding time yesterday.

General manager Chris Baillie said the viewing pen would allow the public to get close to tuatara while a wild population introduced to the sanctuary in October became established.

In about a year, it was hoped to build a track for the public to visit the wild tuatara given by Ngati Koata in October.

The viewing pen, built by Tom Leckie and centre staff, was finished on December 20. The tuatara arrived the following day.

- eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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