The Tulsa Zoo is proud to announce the hatching of nine Aldabra tortoises. The zoo has now successfully hatched 109 Aldabra tortoises since it began this important breeding program in 1999.
The Tulsa Zoo is the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited institution that has an Aldabra tortoise breeding program, and the zoo is one of only two U.S. institutions to currently breed this species.
Only three zoos have ever successfully reproduced Aldabra tortoises and the Tulsa Zoo is the only zoo to successfully breed this species more than once.
Our first Aldabra tortoise hatchling emerged from its egg in the winter of 1999 and we have continued to collect fertile eggs every 2 to 3 years since that time.
The hatchlings started to pip, or cut through their shells, on Feb. 9, 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.
Several of the tortoise hatchlings are on exhibit in the Conservation Center. The hatchling tortoises currently weigh 50 grams and guests can watch as they grow in their new exhibit.
The Tulsa Zoo is also home to three adult male and two adult female Aldabra tortoises. The adult male tortoises weigh nearly 400 lbs, while the adult female tortoises weigh around 175 lbs. Their ages range from 31 to more than 100 years old.