Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald


Front Page - Friday, November 22, 2019

Roti Island turtle hatched at Chattanooga Zoo

The Chattanooga Zoo has successfully hatched this rare Roti Island snake-necked turtle. - Photos provided

The Chattanooga Zoo has a new resident, a rare Roti Island snake-necked turtle.

The turtle started hatching Nov. 3 and was out of the egg Nov. 6. This is the first successful Roti Island snake-necked turtle hatching to take place at the zoo.

This species is critically endangered, making this hatching a significant step toward efforts to conserve this species in the wild, says the zoo in a news release.

The Chattanooga Zoo began housing the species in June with the acquisition of Nessie, a female from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

The SSP is a population management program that focuses on the breeding of threatened species within AZA-accredited institutions in efforts to reintroduce these species in the wild.

While at the Columbus Zoo, Nessie was placed with a male for breeding; she laid a clutch of eggs at the Chattanooga Zoo in August. At this time, only one of her eggs has hatched.

The International Union for Conservation lists the Roti Island snake-necked turtle as critically endangered. They are threatened mostly due to being heavily targeted in the pet trade and their limited habitat, with only two known populations surviving in the wild.

They are indigenous to the small island of Rote in Indonesia and are known for their strikingly long necks.

At this time, the Roti Island Snake-necked turtle will not be placed in the public viewing habitat.

Source: Chattanooga Zoo