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Rare, never-before-seen baby albino Galapagos giant tortoise debuts at Switzerland zoo

June 6, 2022

Rare, never-before-seen baby albino Galapagos giant tortoise debuts at Switzerland zoo

 

A "never before been observed" albino Galapagos giant tortoise made its first public debut at a Swiss zoo on Friday.

 

Two tortoises, one black and the other albino, were born in early May at the Tropiquarium zoo in Servion, Switzerland.The Galapagos giant tortoise is an endangered species, with fewer than 15,000 alive today, according to Tropiquarium.

 

The tortoises were bred through a species conservation program, which considers any tortoise birth to be exceptional. But an albino baby tortoise is unheard of.

 

The albino baby hatched on May 1, two-and-a-half months after the mother laid five eggs on Feb. 11, Reuters reported.

 

"This is the first time in the world that an albino Galapagos tortoise has been born and kept in captivity. No albino individuals have ever been observed in the wild," the zoo said in a statement.

 

Albinism is far rarer in turtles than it is in humans, the zoo said.

 

For every 20,000 humans, there is approximately one case of albinism, compared to approximately one per 100,000 turtles.

 

At birth, tortoises usually weigh around 90 grams, or less than a pound. As an adult, a tortoise can weigh more than 880 pounds and live up to 200 years, according to Tropiquarium.

 

Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY's NOW team. She loves to make pizza, watch standup comedy, photograph friends and spoil her cat, Pearl.

 

From: CAMILLE FINE/ USA TODAY