Visitors at Taronga Western Plains Zoo can now see the Galapagos Tortoise hatchling in the specially-made enclosure at the Galapagos Tortoise exhibit at the Zoo.
The Zoo achieved a national breeding success with the hatching Australasia’s first Galapagos Tortoise on March 2011. Weighing just 87.25 grams, the hatchling has been growing slowly and is now 163 grams.
“The growth and development of a Galapagos Tortoise is a steady process, it will take approximately 20 – 25 years for this hatchling to reach full size. At just five years old it will still be only 30cm long,” said Keeper Annemarie Hillerman.
“We have had a lot of interest in the hatchling, so it is great now that the visitors can see this amazing little creature and get an appreciation of the size difference between a hatchling and an adult,” said Annemarie.
“The hatchling will be on display from 11am – 4pm. A great time to learn more about the hatchling and the species is at the Galapagos Tortoise keeper talk at 2:35pm, when visitors can ask questions,” said Annemarie.
Galapagos Tortoise are classified as vulnerable in the wild, with less than 20,000 remaining on the Galapagos Archipelago with feral animals the main threat to the species.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW and is open every day. For more information about the Zoo visit www.taronga.org.au or contact 6881 1400.