Endangered Turtles Debut on Camera, Literally

December 16, 2013

In an exciting step for conservation, five Chinese big-headed turtles hatched at the zoo, and we caught the incredible moments on tape!

New arrivals are always an exciting announcement, but they are even better when it means progress for an endangered species. Our five Chinese big-headed turtle hatchlings emerged from their shells last month—see video above for the proof!

Don’t let their name mislead you, these turtles are quite small and as adults grow only to about seven inches in length. They’re also a bit thickheaded, literally. Their skulls are made of solid bone and are so large, the turtles can’t withdraw into their shells for protection.

This species is endangered due to trade demand on its native turf, which includes areas of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. As part of an effort to save critically endangered turtles from extinction, we’re proud to be the first Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited zoo to breed them successfully.

Read the press release >>