Critically endangered snake-necked turtles hatch at zoo

The Chattanooga Zoo announced the successful hatching of a critically-endangered turtle.

The turtles are Roti Island Snake-necked Turtles, which are currently critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, with only two known populations surviving in the wild.

Three more are expected to hatch soon, said a zoo spokesperson.

The turtles’ point of origin is the island of Rote in Indonesia, and the species is known for its remarkably long neck.

Their mother, Nessie, came to the zoo via the Columbus zoo in June. She was placed in a breeding program with a male turtle and produced a clutch of viable eggs in August.

The zoo hopes to eventually reintroduce the turtles to the wild down the line, but they have not been placed yet in its public viewing habitat.

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