Breeding efforts for this tiny species of tortoise continue at the Jerusalem Zoo. Over the last month one baby tortoise has hatched in our incubation center.
In parallel with breeding efforts, an initial group of tortoises hatched at the zoo have been placed in an enclosure amid the sand dunes of the Negev as a feasibility test in preparation for their reintroduction into the wild. Initial indications are very positive and the Zoo is awaiting formal permission from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to begin a full scale reintroduction program.
As a backup, some individuals from our breeding nucleus have been transferred to other zoos in Israel and Europe.
The Zoo is also continuing its genetic research on this species and most recently collaborated with Dr. David Eshar of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in a study to obtain hematologic and biochemical data which is imperative for the management of both healthy and diseased animals.
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