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Giant Galapagos Has Zoo in Gleeful Frenzy Over Tortoise Hatchlings

Image: Giant Galapagos Has Zoo in Gleeful Frenzy Over Tortoise Hatchlings
(Twitter/@Zoo_Zuerich)

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 06:16 AM

A giant Galapagos tortoise at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland has welcomed nine new hatchlings, becoming a mother again at age 80.

The 220-pound tortoise, named Nigrita, came to the zoo in 1946, NBC News reported.

The father, a 54-year-old tortoise named Jumbo, weighs 440 pounds. The tiny babies weigh between 4 and 5 ounces each.

The baby tortoises were conceived last year and held in an incubator before hatching between February and April, The Local reported.

Nigrita has produced about 300 eggs and hatched 91 babies since producing her first young in 1989. Zurich Zoo is the only place in Europe to successfully breed the endangered tortoises in captivity.

Nigrita's hatchlings will eventually be distributed to zoos throughout the world. Zurich Zoo is home to 19 young tortoises, ranging from a few days old to eight years, Conde Nast Traveler reported.

While some exclaimed at the age of the mother, Conde Nast described the giant tortoise as being "in her egg-laying prime."

The oldest Galapagos tortoise on record reached 152 years old, according to National Geographic. The species can exceed 5 feet in length and weigh as much as 550 pounds.

The animals sleep about 16 hours per day and eat grass, leaves, and cactus, and can survive up to a year without eating or drinking.

Twitter users welcomed the hatchlings with glee.





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A giant Galapagos tortoise at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland has welcomed nine new hatchlings, becoming a mother again at age 80.
giant, galapagos, zoo
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2016-16-13
Friday, 13 May 2016 06:16 AM
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