An albino Galapagos giant tortoise is born in a Swiss zoo, a world first

ANIMALS – If the births of giant Galapagos tortoises are already rare, the Tropiquarium de Servion in Switzerland has witnessed an even more exceptional hatching, as you can see in the video at the top of the article. Born without skin pigmentation and with red eyes, a baby Galapagos giant tortoise was born albino.

The baby born in May is the first albino Galapagos giant tortoise ever seen in captivity or in the wild, according to the owner of the Swiss zoo where the happy event occurred. Visitors to the Tropiquarium of Servion, a Swiss town located a few kilometers from Lausanne, were able to admire it for the first time on Friday.

A species classified as vulnerable

One month old and weighing about fifty grams, it fits for the moment in the palm of a hand. The Galápagos giant tortoises (Chelonodis nigra), whose life expectancy can reach two centuries, are a species classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which estimates that 23,000 individuals live in the archipelago.

Albinism, a genetic disease characterized by the absence of pigmentation of the skin and bright red eyes and which can be accompanied by loss of sight and hearing in animals, had never been observed in this species whose skin and carapace are normally black, both in captivity and in the wild.

The park owner estimates that in the wild the lifespan of an albino turtle, whose white skin would attract predators, would probably be limited to a few weeks, but he is hopeful that at home his little protege, whose sex is still unknown, growing normally.

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