Twenty-seven new additions to the Yellow-Spotted Amazon River turtle species hatched and very much welcomed at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in New York last week. Two facts that you might know about these cute little newborns is that, 1) it is one of the largest river turles in South America and 2) it got its name for the yellow spots on the side of its head.
The yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle is a vulnerable species, threatened by over-hunting, the pet trade and climate change. Aggressive conservation and breeding programs in their native countries is helping to sustain the population, which was once on the endangered species list. Importation of this species is now strictly regulated by federal law but a captive self-sustaining population exists in the United States—some groups in zoos, others in the hands of private collectors. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is one of just 70 institutions worldwide to house yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles.
Photos by Amelia Beamish/Rosamond Gifford Zoo via zooborns