Swiss zoo wowed by birth of rare albino Galapagos giant tortoise

An exceedingly rare albino Galapagos giant tortoise has slowly made its public debut at a zoo in Switzerland and quickly wowed the world with it uniqueness.

The Tropiquarium in Servion introduced the tiny pale tortoise, along with its sibling, black like its parents, to the world as part of its endangered species conservation program.

“We were surprised to discover an albino baby among our Galapagos giant tortoise babies, this phenomenon had never before been observed either in zoos or in the wild,” the zoo said in a statement June 2.

This albino tortoise is believed to be the first of its species in the world. Photo: Tropiquarium

The mother, who weighs more than 100 kilograms, laid five eggs on Feb. 11.

The albino baby actually hatched on May 1. The other baby hatched on May 5. The eggs spent two-and-a-half months in an incubator.

The normal, black giant tortoise sibling. Photo: Tropiquarium

“These turtles, belonging to an endangered species, were born as part of a species conservation program,” the zoo added. “These are rare and exceptional births, especially for the albino baby.”

Albinism is rare, but not unheard of in the animal world. But it’s a first for this species. Photo: Tropiquarium

The success rate of mating is only around 2- to 3 per cent for this species.

So, this unusual birth is incredibly exciting.

“This is the first time in the world that an albino Galapagos tortoise has been born and kept in captivity,” the zoo added. “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 zoo introduced the unusual baby last week. Photo: Tropiquarium

The new giant baby tortoises have settled into their new home not far from their parents, and according to the facility, they are doing well and are “very energetic.”

And, the world can’t wait to see how both of them grow.

Abinism is rare in tortoises with about one in 100,000 individuals. Photo: Tropiquarium

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