The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance in United States has welcomed 41 small hatchlings of the Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle which is a unique and endangered turtle species that takes nearly two decades to reproduce. These endangered turtle eggs have been hatched in North America for the first time by a recognised conservation group, said a report from NPR.
Three of these turtles have spent more than 20 years living at the zoo. Since a very long while ago, zoo authorities had been waiting for this day to arrive when they would finally reproduce.
The discovery was made on Monday, according to the zoo’s management firm, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
As quoted by NPR, Kim Gray, curator of herpetology and ichthyology at the San Diego Zoo said, “This is a thrilling moment for us at the San Diego Zoo, and an incredible step forward in the conservation of this species.”
The eggs were discovered in two different nests. Some of the turtles hatched in their natural habitat, but the majority of the eggs were kept in an artificial incubator to ensure the best possible survival rates.
Since turtles like to lay their eggs overnight and bury them with mud, nests are sometimes difficult to discover in the habitat, according to turtle specialists at the zoo, NPR further said.
A thread has also been shared by the official Twitter handle of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance along with a video clip of those tiny hatchlings on Wednesday.
“We’re thrilled to have recently welcomed 41 Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle hatchlings – becoming the first accredited conservation organization in North America to hatch these endangered turtles,” the zoo wrote while sharing the post.
According to the Wildlife Institute of India, the Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle, also referred to as the small-headed softshell turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle that is indigenous to northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.
These countries are where the turtles can be found living at the bottom of deep rivers and streams. The monsoon season in central India, as well as the dry season in other parts of the world, are when turtles normally breed.