Lonely Planet Writer

9 Galapagos Tortoise babies born to 80-year-old mother at Zurich Zoo

A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80, as nine of her babies hatched at Zurich Zoo. The eggs were kept in a special incubator at the zoo, which is the only place in Europe where Galapagos giant tortoises are bred.

A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80.
A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80. Image by Zoo Zürich

Nigrita, who weighs 100kg, was brought to Zurich Zoo in 1946. Since then she has produced 91 babies, according to The Local. The dad of the teeny critters born this year is a 54-year-old tortoise called Jumbo.

A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80.
A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80. Image by Zoo Zürich

Galapagos Giant Tortoises are an endangered species and can live for up to 100 years. After mating, the female buries her eggs in sand and they hatch four months later.

A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80.
A Galapagos Giant Tortoise named Nigrita has become a mother again aged 80. Image by Zoo Zürich