No Winter Laziness for the Zoo’s African Spurred Tortoises

Culture Local News

These giant chelonians of ours seem to be doing splendidly in their winter habitat, judging from the fact that the beginning of both 2020 and 2021 brought a fair number of healthy offspring. In early February, a total of 13 little tortoises hatched from eggs laid last November and are now being reared in our dedicated nursery behind the scenes at the Palm House. Further great news is that yet another batch of eggs were laid in late January, with hatching expected to occur in spring – something we hope to be able to share with visitors in person.

Native to the Sahara and the Sahel, African spurred tortoises are the third largest tortoise species, with a maximum shell length of over 80 cm and a weight of up to 100 kg for males. Their name derives from the spur-like outgrowths found on their rear legs. Due to the threats of habitat loss by desertification and overgrazing as well as illegal trade, they are listed as Vulnerable in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List and are also protected by Appendix II of CITES.

Like a number of our other animals, residents of our turtle nursery are yet to be adopted. If you want to make them really happy while also offering us tremendous help, please consider becoming a zoo foster parent.

 

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