This endangered turtle surprises by becoming the father of three young at the age of 90


Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 March 2023 Wednesday 08:52
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This endangered turtle surprises by becoming the father of three young at the age of 90

Mr. Pickles is the oldest animal at the Houston Zoo (Texas). This tortoise, originally from Madagascar, is 90 years old, but his advanced age has not prevented him from becoming the father of three young with Mrs. Pickles, her partner since she arrived at these facilities in 1996.

The new turtles have been named Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeño and now remain in the care of zoo workers, who will protect them until they are big enough to safely join their parents, according to the zoo.

The birth of these three baby turtles has not been easy. The new specimens came as a surprise, the center reports, when a herpetology keeper encountered Ms. Pickles while the tortoise was laying its eggs at closing time.

Since then, the animal care team quickly went to work discovering the eggs and bringing them to the safety of the Reptile and Amphibian House. In their statement, the specialists recall that the soil of Houston is not hospitable to the native tortoises of Madagascar, and it is unlikely that the eggs would have hatched on their own if the keeper had not been in the right place at the right time.

This work is of great importance, because the radiated tortoise or Madagascar star tortoise (Geochelone radiata) is an endangered species due to poaching or destruction of its natural habitat. The interest is even greater, as it is considered one of the most beautiful turtles due to the beauty of its shell, with its geometric designs.

Radiated tortoises are critically endangered due to over-harvesting for the illegal pet trade and are known to produce few young, the zoo recalls in its statement.

In addition, the birth of these hatchlings is significant because Mr. Pickles is the most genetically valuable radiated tortoise in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) American Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which helps ensure the survival of select species. in zoos and aquariums of endangered animals.