Tue, May 02, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Taipei Zoo hatches five critically endangered radiated tortoises
射紋陸龜極度瀕危 動物園再孵化五隻

A newly-hatched radiated tortoise is pictured in an undated photo.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo

T aipei Zoo last month successfully hatched five radiated tortoises. The hatchlings are in good health and often seen crawling around energetically in their nest.

According to the zoo’s spokesperson Tsao Hsien-shao, the skin of a newly hatched radiated tortoise will be tinged with pink and typically turns yellowish after a month. Tsao says that the zoo will keep the hatchlings in their hatching nest, where temperature and humidity are controlled, and move them to a different nest after they have grown to a more stable size.

The radiated tortoises have become critically endangered due to loss of habitats, poaching and smuggling. The species. which is native to southern Madagascar, has a mild temperament and can grow up to a carapace length of 41cm and weigh up to 10kg.

During their breeding season, zoo keepers will regularly inspect the tortoises and loosen the soil in their enclosure, helping the female tortoises excavate holes for their eggs and ensure that the zoo can find their eggs soon after they are laid and move them to a controlled environment for artificial incubation. According to Tsao, female radiated tortoises lay an average of 8 to 10 eggs, which usually take about three months to hatch.

(CNA, translated by Tu Yu-an)






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