Bristol: Rare Turtle Hatches At Zoo

13 August 2014, 11:17

Vietnamese Box Turtle

It's six weeks old, it weighs just under 15 grams and is the size of a matchbox.

This tiny Vietnamese box turtle has just hatched at Bristol Zoo - and its keepers say they're thrilled. Its so precious - they're keeping it off-show at the moment in a special climate-controlled room. But once it's old enough, it'll join the others in the Reptile House. Tim Skelton, curator of reptiles, has cared for turtles for over 40 years. He said: โ€œThis is a very difficult species to breed so I am thrilled with the arrival of this baby; it comes after a lot of hard work.โ€ It's only the second time the Zoo has bred this critically endangered species, which it has kept for 12 years. The Zooโ€™s first Vietnamese box turtle hatched in 2012 and is doing very well, munching away on a diet of snails, worms and chopped fruit. Bristol Zoo is thought to be just the second Zoo in Europe to have ever bred the species.