You may remember that on March 5th, we discovered during a physical examination on our Madagascar big-headed turtles that 2 of our females had eggs! Since the ground was still too cold for the eggs to be able to develop, we induced the females to lay their eggs in the safety of our clinic. The two females laid a total of 33 eggs! We have taken those eggs and put them in incubators behind the scenes of our Reptile house.
We are proud to announce that on May 18th and 19th, three Madagascar big-headed turtles have hatched! Unfortunately, the rest of the eggs proved to be infertile which is common in young female turtles that have just reached maturity. The hatchlings will be kept behind the scenes until they are big enough to be on exhibit. Meanwhile, you can see their older siblings that hatched last September 15th, on exhibit inside the reptile house.
Remember to keep a lookout in our lemur exhibit for any nesting activity by our adult big-headed turtles. When you are looking at the left bank of the lemur island, look for the special area keepers have made with a mixture of sand and dirt to make it easier for the turtles to dig in. This is where last year’s hatchlings emerged – and we are very eager to have a repeat clutch of eggs laid in the very same spot!
To learn about conservation efforts in the wild, visit the Turtle Survival Alliance webpage.