Winter Haven man breeds Galapagos tortoises

By Rick Elmhorst , Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, February 04, 2018

A Winter Haven man has been breeding turtles for decades. Wayne Hill has giant Galapagos tortoises in his back yard and thousands more turtles at a breeding facility in the city. 

  • Winter Haven man breeds Galapagos tortoises
  • Wayne Hill sells the tortoises in Florida

Hill says it’s pretty cool to look out his window and see the tortoises.

“Yea, very nice,” he said. “They put themselves up when it gets cool and they come out when they get hungry.”

Hill has seven of the tortoises that he uses for breeding. They produce eggs that he puts into a temperature-controlled nursery and they take a couple of months to hatch.

Hill can only sell his tortoises in Florida because of government regulations. His breeder tortoises are about 29-years-old.

Hill gave Spectrum Bay News 9 a tour of his breeding facility. There are a number of greenhouse ponds and an indoor facility including that incubator with plastic bins filled with turtle eggs.

“This is our walk in incubator,” said Hill. “I wanted to show you some eggs that are incubating and some that are hatching.”

Other than being the way he makes a living, Hill has many things he loves about the turtles.

“They don't get in a hurry. They don't get mad and I think they set a good example for us,” he said.