HOUSTON — Keepers at Houston Zoo have their hands full with four new bundles of joy.
They’re now taking care of four newly hatched painted terrapin turtles.
Science and nature worked together to bring the newest members of the endangered species into existence.
Zoo experts across departments had to keep a close eye on incubator and water temperatures so the adult turtles could have their offspring.
It was also a collaboration between the primate keepers and veterinarians and herpetology experts, among other departments, as the terrapin adults live in the orangutan moat, zoo officials said.
Turtles are normally gray/brown so they can blend into the Southeast Asian swamps they normally live in, but when it’s time to mate, the males will have bolder markings with their gray heads turning white with a red stripe between their eyes.
The painted terrapin turtle is one of the most endangered species in the world due to the fact that hunters capture the reptiles and collect turtle eggs to sell as food. The turtles are also being wiped out because of pollution and the destruction of their homes, zoo officials said.
These are the first painted terrapin turtles to be born at Houston Zoo.
For more on the zoo’s efforts to save terrapin turtles, click here.
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