35 Bellinger River snapping turtle hatchlings bring hope for critically endangered species

By Australian Geographic 11 March 2020
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The hatchlings will soon be released into the wild.

Taronga Zoo have had an incredibly successful year of breeding for the critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtle, with a total of 35 hatchlings.

In 2015, scientists and conservationists were concerned that the unique turtle would be wiped out completely by a highly contagious disease.

Related: The mystery disease killing Bellinger River turtles

The hatchlings will soon be released back into the Bellinger River, located on the mid-north coast of NSW, where their progress will be monitored.

“This is our fourth successful breeding season of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle, and we now have nearly 100 of these turtles living at our quarantine facility at Taronga Zoo,” said Taronga reptile keeper Adam Skidmore, who cares for the species.

The hatchlings are doing really well – eating lots and growing – and we are really happy with their development.”

Watch the adorable hatchlings below.