(Feb. 19, 2015) – We are proud to announce the hatching of eight Aldabra tortoises. We have now successfully hatched 130 Aldabra tortoises since we began this important breeding program in 1999.
These are the first hatchlings from mom, Tofi, so we are the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited institution that has hatched Aldabra tortoises from two separate female tortoises. This is important because Tofi’s genetics are not represented, so these hatchlings will help us to further the genetic diversity of Aldabra tortoises as we work to help this species through breeding.
Our first Aldabra tortoise hatchling emerged from its egg in the winter of 1999 and we have continued to collect fertile eggs every 1 to 2 years since that time.
The hatchlings start to pip, or cut through their shells, after an incubation period that lasts from 95-120 days. Once the tortoises pip, it can take up to 5 days to fully emerge from the shell and usually 2 to 3 more days before they are ready to be taken out of the incubator and placed on substrate in an exhibit.
Soon, the tortoises will be on exhibit in the Conservation Center. However, some of our hatchlings, which pipped in Oct. 2014, are currently on exhibit.
We are home to several Aldabra tortoise hatchlings, but we are also home to three adult male and two adult females. The adult tortoises weigh nearly 400 lbs and their ages range from 32 to more than 100 years old.