80-Year-Old Galapagos Tortoise Has Nine Little Hatchlings

Weighing in at only a few hundred grams, nine baby Galápagos tortoises hatched to parents Nigrita and Jumbo last year at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland.

Zoo Zurich, Samuel Furrer

The Zurich Zoo is home to the only institution in Europe in which the endangered Galapagos giant tortoises are being bred.

These extraordinary animals are amongst the longest-living animals on the planet and the longest living of all vertebrates, averaging over 100 years. The oldest recorded alive was 152.

just abby
Zoo Zurich, Samuel Furrer

Although unlikely, there is a possibility that one of the remaining giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands is old enough to have been around for Charles Darwin’s famous visit in 1835.

baby and egg
Zoo Zurich, Samuel Furrer

If all goes well for these little guys they could see a future no one alive today will. They are also the world’s largest tortoises, with some reaching 550 pounds (250 kilograms). Nigrita is only 220 pounds so she still has some growing to do.

mom and baby
Zoo Zurich, Samuel Furrer