First-time mother – While most animal species do not live past the age of 80, Nigrita – the tortoise – is the age at which she gave birth for the first time. Even better, her species is on the verge of extinction.
Nigrita, an 80-year-old Galapagos tortoise, lives at Switzerland’s Zoo Zürich.
The Galapagos tortoise, which is native to the same-named islands, is the largest tortoise species, weighing up to 900lb. They can also live for more than 150 years. Unfortunately, the species was on the verge of extinction in the 1970s, with only ten individuals remaining in the wild.
She is also making a significant difference for her endangered species.
This year, Nigrita laid her first eggs. Most species do not live to be 80 years old, let alone give birth at that age, but it is quite normal for her species!
In fact, these tortoises typically do not begin reproducing until they are around the age of 40. Galapagos tortoises are among the world’s longest-living animals. Nigrita is in her prime by tortoise standards.
Although Galapagos tortoises can live for more than 150 years, there aren’t many of them left. Because of greedy humans and hungry predators, the species is on the verge of extinction.
Nigrita is currently part of a breeding program at the zoo, which adds to the rarity of her nine hatchlings. Tortoises like Nigrita must ensure the survival of her species.