Breeding efforts for this tiny species of tortoise continue at the Jerusalem Zoo and we are pleased to report that 2 eggs are currently being incubated in our breeding center. Please join us in hoping that they will be viable and that in our next report we will be able to report on two new hatchlings!
We’re also continuing our research efforts to build the knowledge base regarding this rare and little-known species. Research covers possible release sites and whether a viable habitat exists in Israel in which to release these animals; pathogens within our breeding core to ensure that disease is not brought into an ecosystem upon release; and of-course ongoing genetic research to confirm that the individuals in our breeding core are the same sub-species as those found in the wild within the release area (this is such a rare species that very little is known about genetic differences between small populations spread throughout Egypt and Israel). These questions need to be answered before the Israel Nature and Parks Authority will grant us permission to release individuals back into the wild.
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