More about Zelva the Giant Tortoise
Photos of Zelva © Justin Thomas, Hammersmith and Fulham Council
Zelva is the world’s only walking animatronic character of this type, and an encounter with her is a singular experience not to be missed. Make no mistake, this isn’t a person in a suit, but rather a high-tech robot. As such, she doesn’t get tired, isn’t limited by how far she can walk and doesn’t have a sore back at the end of the day. Designed and built in their London workshop over a 3 year period by The Flying Buttresses, who have lent their making talents to films such as Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Artemis Fowl. Zelva represents a totally (turtley) unique approach to animatronics and is a big leap forward in the art form of live puppetry. This show takes the technical skill and artistry of animatronic technology, but removes it from its usual static, repetitive display setting and transports it to a free roaming, live, interactive experience.
Zelva is accompanied by Sheldon Aristotle Chandler, the tortoise handler, who shows guests how to feed Zelva, engages them with interesting tortoise facts and provides the witty improv interactions that the company has built its international reputation upon.