For the first time in the state, a red-eared slider, a fresh water turtle, has successfully hatched at the Thrissur Zoo.
“One hatchling, out of a clutch of eight eggs, could break open its egg shell the other day after being kept under sand heaps for 90 days for hatching”, said Dr Binoy C Babu, veterinary officer, Thrissur zoo.
“It is for the first time in the state that the breeding of the variety - a native of the southern United States, is taking place under zoo conditions,” he said.
The tender turtle, which weighs around 20 gm, has already started taking food. The turtle is now kept in a warm and humid environment to ensure smooth and proportional shell growth while it develops. The hatching of eggs was part of a Conservation Breeding Mission, launched recently to help sustain the species count.
“The count is critical to trigger breeding behaviour in them, which are mature enough to reproduce from a very early period,” zoo officials said. As part of the initiative, the officials have kept another clutch of eggs under the sand heaps which are expected to hatch in the coming weeks. Earlier last week, the zoo keepers had successfully incubated three peacock eggs under controlled temperature for the first time in the state. The move was followed after the peacock couple refused to brood their eggs.
According to P E Joseph, caretaker at the section, the peafowl chicks were shifted to the cage on Thursday and are adjusting well to their life in the zoo. “While the chicks are busy exploring their nests, their parents take turns foraging and watching them,” he said.