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Irwin’s Turtle (Paris)

Irwin’s Turtle (Paris)


My name is Paris, I am one of Australia Zoo’s newly hatched Irwin’s turtles. I am part of a rare and special species – Steve Irwin discovered the Elseya irwini in Queensland’s Burdekin River in 1990 and we were named in his honour.

We are freshwater turtles with a unique ability shared by few other turtles – we have gill-like structures in our cloaca (our bum), meaning we can breathe underwater! Our species is also sexually dimorphic, meaning boys and girls look different to one another. Female Irwin’s turtles have hypomelanism, so when I grow up, I will likely have a white and yellow face with a bright pink nose! My male counterparts do not have this colouration quirk, instead having brown faces, smaller bodies and big tails.


Irwin's Turtle


Australia Zoo is the first place to ever hatch Irwin’s turtles outside of the wild, and this is for a very important reason. Our wild homes were affected by significant ecological changes when the Burdekin Falls Dam was constructed in 1987 – as a result, we were thought to have been lost from the lower Burdekin River, after not being seen for around 25 years. Now, future development plans, habitat destruction and pollution threaten the future of our species. Thanks to the Queensland Government, the Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors teams were given permission to create a safe sanctuary for a group of Elseya irwini turtles and they are now working hard to establish an insurance population through a world-first breeding program. Through this, the team can also learn about my species, discovering how to best support our wild populations. In the future, they also hope to release some of my species back into our native habitat.

Australia Zoo also hopes to share our story far and wide, so that our vulnerable nature can be officially recognised. When our conservation status was assessed, it was determined that there was too little information to be able to list us under any category. Australia Zoo is determined to change that by honouring Steve’s legacy and conserving the beautiful Elseya irwini for generations to come.


Adoption Packages

  • $50 Bronze Adoption
  • $100 Silver Adoption
  • $250 Gold Adoption
  • $500 Platinum Adoption
  • $10,000 Ultimate Adoption

Most of the inclusions in your adoption pack are online, meaning that your adoption is not only helping one of our animals, but the environment too!

All animal adoptions are a single payment and last for 12 months from the date of purchase. You can choose to renew your adoption after this time and continue your support of our animals and wildlife conservation efforts.

If you would like to contribute more than the specified adoption amounts, you are more than welcome to do so! Please contact us by email or phone to find out more.

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P: +61 7 5436 2000

* Each guest pass is valid for a single day entry only, to be used within 12 months of adoption purchase. For Gold, Platinum and Ultimate adoptions, guest passes can be used for multiple single day entries for one person, or single day entries for up to the specified amount of people. For Gold or Platinum adoptions, if you are unable to use the included guest passes you can opt to swap the guest passes for a plush toy animal.

^ The encounter is subject to availability and must be pre-booked. Restrictions based on age, group size, and specific animals apply. Please note that encounters with some animals are not possible due to health and safety regulations (they include: saltwater crocodiles, tigers, elephants, snakes and iguanas); an alternative animal encounter will be substituted.

Please note: While all of the animals available for adoption are usually on display at the Zoo and/or participate in encounters, adopting an animal does not guarantee the chance of seeing or meeting them if visiting the Zoo. Animal availability is subject to change; there may be times when animals may be temporarily off display due to unforeseen circumstances, such as veterinary check-ups or habitat maintenance. If booking one of our amazing animal encounters to meet your adoptee, please advise staff of the animal you adopt at the time of booking.

Animal adoptions and associated elements are non-refundable, non-transferable and not redeemable for cash.

It is important to note that adopting an animal does not provide a company or organisation license to promote Australia Zoo across their channels. If you desire to include in advertising and/or collateral including your website, further discussions will be required. If interested, please let us know and we can organise a meeting. Thank you again for your support!

*Please allow up to 3 weeks for the delivery of your gift pack, if applicable.