First hatchlings at the Zagreb Zoo

Gravid Balkan Terrapins females, collected during field research in June from Dubrovnik-Neretva County, were carefully transported to the Zagreb Zoological Garden. The mothers quickly adapted to their temporary home and began laying their precious eggs under the watchful eyes of Zoo experts. In early July, the last female laid her eggs. Over the following months, experts from the Hyla Association and the Zoo meticulously monitored the incubation, tracking shell calcification progress, egg weight, width, and length.

On Friday, September 22nd, the first hatchling emerged, followed shortly by the rest of the group. Reptile expert Ivan Cizelj and caretaker Matej Tolić closely observed their initial steps, provided meals, and placed them in their temporary enclosure at the Zoo. Freshwater habitat specialist Ana Štih Koren from the Hyla Association, who has been researching Balkan Terrapins for years, regularly visits them and diligently records their progress.

Now, the primary focus is on monitoring their growth into healthy turtles, ready for release into the restored pond by the project's end, ensuring protection from threats such as invasive species and predators.



Date of publication: 24 of March 2023

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