Galapagos Tortoises are one of the largest species of tortoises in the world. The male tortoises weigh 250 kg and the females weigh 150 kg.
Many zoos and animal groups are working very hard on their own projects to protect this species of turtles. The Auckland Zoo is also very interested in helping these projects.
When four rare Galápagos tortoise babies were born this year, it was a very happy time at the zoo. They hatched in an incubator that controlled the temperature and humidity so they were safe and healthy.
The 88 grams are how much the heaviest of the four litters weighs. It is indeed something to be happy about. Last October, the babies were born to Chippy, the turtle’s mother.
The Galápagos Tortoise Conservatory and the Charles Darwin Foundation have done a lot to help this rare species get to Auckland Zoo. The zoo has also put in a lot of work.
The newborn turtle babies are not yet on display to the public. Because they are still very small. They will do well in a small space with fresh grass beds and a place to go outside. The zoo staff wants them to get enough vitamin D3 during the day and to be safe at night.
Straw, leaves, and flowers meant for small tadpoles were given to the chicks. Ectotherms Team Leader at the Auckland Zoo, Don McFarlane, says that the hatchlings like bright, sweet foods like hibiscus flowers and grated carrots. To get the turtles hungry, they mix these foods with hay.
When these young hatchlings are strong and healthy, they are sent to places where Galápagos tortoises live so they can be with their parents.
But because of habitat loss and killing for food, this rare species is in danger of going extinct.