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Tiny White Tortoise Becomes First Ever Reported Case Of An Albino Giant Galápagos Tortoise

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Tiny White Tortoise Becomes First Ever Reported Case Of An Albino Giant Galápagos Tortoise

A tiny white Galapagos tortoise has been described as the ‘first of its kind’ while making its public debut at a Switzerland zoo.

The adorable little creature is officially the first-ever recorded albino Galapagos tortoise with its pale skin and striking red eyes.

The baby tortoise was born in May, with its egg spending two and a half months in an incubator at Tropiquarium, in Servion, as per ABC News.

The zoo issued a statement revealing ‘this is the first time in the world that an albino Galapagos tortoise has been born and kept in captivity’.

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Credit: Tropiquarium
Credit: Tropiquarium

They said: “Albinism is rare in turtles with approximately one case per 100,000 individuals compared to approximately one case per 20,000 individuals in humans.”

The statement also added that as they are an endangered species, these turtles were bred as part of a ‘species conservation program’.

The little critter weighs around 50 grams (1.7 ounces or 1.10 pounds) and can easily fit into the palm of your hand.

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The gender is yet to be revealed. 

The mother, who weighs more than 100 kilos (220 pounds or 3527 ounces), gave birth to another turtle; however, this one is black, just like her parents, according to ABC News.

Following the birth of the tiny albino reptile, a rare kind of the Galapagos tortoise, otherwise thought to be extinct, has been discovered on the Galapagos Islands.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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The ‘fantastic giant tortoise’ was found after it was thought to be extinct for over 100 years, according to The Independent.

The last and only sighting of the giant tortoise nicknamed ‘Fernanda’ was in 1906 on Fernandina Island, Ecuador, when a single specimen was collected.

However, in 2019, researchers at Princeton discovered an ‘unusual’ lone female tortoise that alluded to the species living on.

Last week, they confirmed just that after the team of scientists found that Fernanda’s DNA was compatible with this tortoise.

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Ecologist and senior author of the study Adalgisa Caccone said that the recent discovery prompts new questions about the species, and many 'mysteries' remain.

He said: “Are there more tortoises on Fernandina [island] that can be brought back into captivity to start a breeding program?

“How did tortoises colonise Fernandina, and what is their evolutionary relationship to the other giant Galápagos tortoises? This also shows the importance of using museum collections to understand the past.”

Featured Image Credit: Tropiquarium.

Topics: News, Animals, Science

Charisa Bossinakis
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