The Batagur baska hatching at Turtle Island is complete! All 11 adorable hatchlings are so active, feeding on tender greens and are settling in well.
We are also proud that the B. baska male that The Vienna Zoo and Turtle Island sent to the Madras Crocodile Bank in India just sired a total of 7 hatchlings with two females. So Turtle Island has helped to bring 18 new B. baska into the world this year!
The two females have a story of their own. In 1989 they were rescued from imminent slaughter at the Howrah market in Calcutta by an unforgettable young herpetologist from India named J. Vijaya, commonly called Viji. Sadly she died at the young age of 28. The cause of death was never known but the circumstances were very suspicious of a violent crime. In addition to her contributions to B. baska, she was the first to rediscover and breed the Forest Cane Turtle after 70 years of suspected extinction. After completing the genetics of the Forest Cane Turtle, Peter Praschag went on to rename the species Vijayachelys silvatica in her honor.
These B. baska breeding successes enlarge the genetic diversity of the international offspring pool to improve the likelihood of their long-term survival.