Wild Encounters: Baby Turtles

Wild Encounters

(WJBF) – If you love cute things, then you came to the right place. We’re taking a look at turtle hatchlings.

We are here with Ashton Hill in what is, quite possibly, the fanciest set up we’ve ever had here on ‘Wild Encounters’ and we’re talking about turtle hatchlings.

So, Ashton, let’s talk a little bit about them.

Ashton Hill, Animal Division Swing Keeper: Alright, so here with me we have a bunch of our Cuora pani, which is the Latin name for the Pan’s box turtle. So, these guys are really rare out in the wild and we have quite a few hatchlings here at Riverbanks. So, first I want to show you guys the eggs. So, these are some of our hatched out eggs. All of our turtles that are in these eggs start there and stay there for about three months. They have a three month incubation period. One of the really cool things about our mothers is that they always lay their eggs in June and July. Here we have a year old turtle. This one was born in 2019. You can see it’s quite a bit larger than our other little hatchlings were. They grow very quickly. This guy is able to hunt on his own as soon as he is a couple of weeks old. So, he is a master hunter. Pan’s box like to eat all sorts of things, but they are what is called an obligate carnivore. So, that means, unlike other turtles, they only eat meat. All they eat is insects and bugs and fish…small crustaceans and things of that sort. So, here at Riverbanks, we like to feed them lots of krill. That’s their favorite snack.

“How important is it to take care of the turtles at Riverbanks Zoo?”

Ashton: It is super important, especially for critically endangered species like the Pan’s box turtle. So, these guys are endangered in the wild; not because of habitat loss, which is what we see with a lot of other turtles. These are native to China and the main problem is that they are being over-collected. So, guys, please remember that whenever you get a turtle or a tortoise as a pet that you know where it came from and that it was sustainably sourced and that it is a respectable breeder you are getting it from and please make sure of what kind of turtle you have and that it is not a wild caught species. That is really important for the conservation of our animals here.


Well, there you have it, guys. A behind-the-scenes look at some of these baby turtles. Want to give a big shout-out for all of that fantastic info she had for us.

Look below for some extra content!


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