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Swansea tropical zoo celebrates birth of tiny, rare Egyptian tortoise

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A critically rare Egyptian tortoise has been born at Swansea’s tropical zoo, Plantasia.

Plantasia say that the tortoise is almost extinct in Egypt, and is under threat of complete extinction in the wild unless more actions are taken to protect them.

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The baby tortoise weighed in at just 7g and was smaller than a £1 coin when born.

On their social media, Plantasia said: “Little ‘Bow’ – a name suggested by several of our followers due to its distinct bow-shape markings above its head – is doing extremely well. The first six weeks are critical for its development, and our keeper team are doing an incredible job in tending to its every need.

“The birth of Bow is yet another boost to the conservation efforts in place at Plantasia Tropical Zoo, and highlights the importance of zoos in ensuring the survival of many of these endangered species across the world.”

‘Little Bow’ weighs just 7g (Image: Plantasia)

Plantasia is part of a European-wide conservation program for the Egyptian tortoise, which is the second smallest species in the world, and can live up to 80 years. They recently received three females and two males, with the newest arrival discovered by an employee checking the conservation enclosure on Thursday 3 March – World Wildlife Day.

Anthony Williams, general manager of Plantasia said: “It’s about maintaining the blood line of the species and monitoring and protecting them. When numbers are at sufficient levels, the hope is that they can go back into a protected area in their natural habitat of Egypt.

“Around five years ago, we had six babies which were moved to a zoo in North Wales to link with their own species up there in the hope that they would breed to boost the numbers. This new baby is the latest addition and we want it to be the first of more to come, it’s amazing to have.”

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(Lead image: Plantasia)

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