Auckland Zoo celebrates the birth of four tiny baby Galápagos tortoises! The babies and the parents both are in good condition.
The babies hatched on the 26th of January, 2021 to parents Chippie, 50, and Smiley, 49. The Galápagos tortoise babies are under strict observation and in climate-controlled incubators. Furthermore, they weighed around 74 to 88 grams.
According to the Auckland Zoo, the newborns are all healthy since the first day and their health is continuing to improve day by day.
These four babies were hatched from a clutch that consisted of 13 eggs.
According to Auckland Zoo’s Ectotherms team leader, Don McFarlane, “[The] confirmation of Chippie and Smiley’s fertility was incredibly heartening. Now we have this very exciting upward turn that we hope reflects the sweet spot we’ve hit after years of incrementally refining our husbandry for this species.”
Also adding, “Through the training we’ve done with our four adults so we can easily physically check and take bloods from them, we know they’re in excellent health and this year’s breeding, that also saw one of the hatchling’s weights register off the charts at a whopping 88 grams, indicates the great potential of our adult females.”
According to National Geographic, this species can grow up to five feet in length and 550 pounds in weight. They lead a very calm life as they feed on grass and sleep for at least 16 hours per day. In addition to this, they have a very slow metabolism. Due to which they can survive without eating and drinking for a year.
Their growth is very slow in comparison to others. These tortoises are very challenging to rare. They reach adulthood at the age of 20 to 40 years and can live for over 180 years!
On the other hand, these species have seen greater loss. In Galàpagos, only ten types of giant tortoise are remaining. This is a result of hunting by whales and humans for food. Other animals also feed on their eggs. There is a serious threat to these tortoises.
Charles Darwin Foundation and Galápagos Conservancy are taking strict measures to facilitate the rehabilitation of this kind owing to this reason. They have also taken the responsibility to help them to breed in captivity. So proper care of their eggs and hatchlings made sure.
The hatchlings are not for public display as of yet. They will unite with their parents in a few months.
We hope these Galápagos tortoise babies stay healthy!