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An albino giant Galapagos tortoise is born: it is the first time in history

An albino giant Galapagos tortoise is born: it is the first time in history

A Galapagos giant tortoise albino was born in captivity in the Swiss zoo of Servion. This is a truly extraordinary event, not only because of the reproductive success in captivity of a fascinating and endangered species, but because a small one emerged from one of the eggs. albino tortoise.

The rare occurrence of the birth of an albino Galapagos giant tortoise

It is in fact the first time in history that the birth of a small albino of this fascinating and long-lived reptile has been recorded. The possibility of such an event occurring is lonely 1 in 100,000 and, as the managers of the Tropiquarium de Servion affirm, such an animal is not never been observed before neither in nature nor in captivity.

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Although it is a specimen of the Galapagos giant tortoise, at the moment the small albino reptile weighs only 50 grams and has all the typical characteristics of this genetic disease that alters the production of melanin. The turtle has in fact a whitish color, tending to yellow, and its eyes are red.

The small and rare specimen of Chelonoidis nigra, this is the real name of the Galapagos giant tortoise, was born from an egg laid on February 11, 2022 by a female of 100 kilograms. Mother tortoise had laid two eggs, from which two babies were born in May, the rare albino specimen and a normal colored brother.

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Protect it to conserve the species

Now the zoo managers will have a lot to do for protect the little reptile and make it grow strong and healthy. Animals born with this condition run a higher risk of sun damage and developing skin cancer. In nature, this would hamper the chances of survival of the young, putting them at a greater risk of developing diseases and potentially making them easier for predators to spot.

But luckily, the small albino Galápagos giant tortoise will remain under the care of the Tropiquarium de Servion, which may try to limit sun exposure by this animal as rare as it is precious.

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Valuable not in terms of money, but in terms of species conservation. The wild populations of the Galápagos giant tortoises are in big trouble due to human interference. The small and rare turtle was in fact born as part of a breeding program that is part of a project for the protection and safeguarding of this extraordinary species highly endangered.

Ph. Credit: Tropiquarium de Servion