Critically endangered bog turtle hatches at Zoo Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - One of the rarest species in the United States has hatched at Zoo Atlanta, and it’s the first time one of its kind has hatched here in 30 years.

A critically endangered bog turtle hatched on May 21, 2022. The species, not hatched at the Zoo since 1992, is found only in the eastern U.S., including northeast Georgia. Bog turtles are the smallest turtles in North America, with fully-grown adults reaching weights of only just under 4 ounces. The hatchling has a shell (carapace) roughly the size of a quarter, according to ZA.

“This is a truly thrilling birth for us at Zoo Atlanta, not only because bog turtles are critically endangered, but also because we have not seen this species reproduce here at the Zoo in three decades,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation.

Zoo Atlanta says its trio of adult bog turtles, a male and two females, were hatched in 2014 and 2015. This is the first year that the turtles have successfully nested, resulting in the hatchling appearing this spring following a closely monitored period of artificial incubation.

While the new hatchling is currently being housed behind the scenes with the Zoo’s two adult females, its father can be seen in the bog turtle habitat in the Georgia eXtremes building of Zoo Atlanta’s Scaly Slimy Spectacular complex.

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