As the adage goes, “it’s never too late.” That rings true for this tortoise, who experienced motherhood for the first time at the ripe age of 80.
The tortoise, named Nigrita, is a Galapagos tortoise residing at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland. She is making a significant contribution to her species, as her 9 charming hatchlings will play a role in safeguarding the survival of this endangered species.
Although her age appears remarkable from a human perspective, it is typical for Galapagos tortoises to give birth at that age. In fact, they do not begin reproducing until around 40 years of age.
Galapagos tortoises are renowned for being among the longest-living animals on Earth. Thus, despite Nigrita being 80 years old, she is genuinely in her prime. Among tortoise species, the Galapagos tortoise has the longest lifespan and is found exclusively in two remote archipelagos: the Galápagos Islands, located 1000 km west of mainland Ecuador, and Aldabrachelys gigantea of Aldabra in the Indian Ocean, 700 km east of Tanzania.
Regrettably, the species is at risk of extinction due to excessive hunting for their meat and oil. Additionally, the exploitation of their natural habitat and the introduction of non-native animal species have also played a role in their decline.
Nigrita is a participant in a breeding program at the Zurich Zoo, where dedicated efforts will be made to ensure the health and strength of her 9 offspring, so that they can contribute to future breeding programs.
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Rewritten Source: https://dogdispatch.com/80-year-old-galapagos-tortoise-becomes-a-first-time-mom/