As the saying goes, “it is never too late.” That is certainly true in the case of this tortoise that gave birth for the first time at the tender age of 80. She just may be the world’s oldest mother. And she is making a big impact for her species and her 9 adorable hatchlings will go on to help ensure the sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ of the Eɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species.
Nigrita is a Galapagos tortoise that lives at the Zoo Zürich in Switzerland. This is the largest tortoise species that is native to the Galapagos Islands. They weight up to 900lb and are also able to live more than 150 years. They are known as one of the longest-living animals on Earth. Unfortunately, the species is Eɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ with only ten individuals left in the wild due to greedy humans and hungry ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs.
So the birth of these 9 baby tortoise, not only is it the amazing thing for Nigrita, but it is also the good news for animal lovers around the world as her species is ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ. In fact, these tortoises typically don’t start reproducing until around age 40. By tortoise standards, Nigrita is in her prime.
Nigrita and her 54-year-old mate, Jumbo, are part of Zoo Zurich’s breeding program introduced to help revitalize the Galapagos tortoise population, which is currently on the Eɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species’ list. Therefore, the news of Nigrita becoming a first-mom is taking the Internet by storm. Giving birth to 9 eggs, Nigrita and her hatchlings little babies are capturing everyone’s heart.
“Nigrita is our oldest animal at the zoo, but she is probably in her best years to lay eggs,” Robert Zingg at the Zurich Zoo, said. “The newborns weigh around five ounces each, so we have to wait a little, until they’ll grow as big as their mom.”
Female and male Galapagos tortoises can ultimately weigh up to 400 and 700 pounds, respectively, which means not only are Nigrita’s babies growing, their 80-year-old mom is growing, too. We wish Nigrita and her nine babies the best of luck and hope that in 40 to 80 years, these new hatchlings will be having babies of their own.
Let us know what you think of this very old, new mother in the comments, and don’t forget to SHARE with anyone who believes in protecting Eɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ wildlife!