In Switzerland, a giant Galápagos tortoise was born in a zoo. The turtle has an exceptional particularity since it is albino, which makes this birth a world first.
At the Tropiquarium de Servion, a Swiss zoo located a few kilometers from Lausanne, a new animal was born last May. Indeed, the owners of the zoo were able to witness the birth of a giant Galápagos tortoise.
This birth is exceptional since the success rate of a mating of these turtles is estimated at 2%, because of the size and the important weight of the animal. The Galápagos giant tortoise is classified as a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as there are only 23,000 tortoises left on the archipelago today.
At the moment, the sex of the newborn is still unknown. At birth, the little turtle weighed only about fifty grams and fit in the palm of the hand. In addition to belonging to an endangered species that has difficulty reproducing, this turtle is exceptional because it has a unique characteristic: it is albino .
This genetic disease is easily diagnosed since it creates an absence of skin pigmentation. Generally, giant Galápagos tortoises have completely black skin and shell, while this small tortoise has all white skin and shell and red eyes. These unusual colors in an animal can be accompanied by loss of sight and hearing.
This is the very first time that we have witnessed the birth of an albino Galápagos giant tortoise in the world, which makes this birth an exceptional event.
“We are blessed by the gods” , exclaimed Philippe Morel, the owner of the zoo.
Since the turtle was born, many visitors have flocked to the zoo to view it. If this little albino turtle lived in the wild, its life expectancy would only be a few weeks. Indeed, its white skin would easily attract predators. Fortunately, the albino turtle lives in the zoo and will be protected throughout its existence… which could last two centuries!