An extremely rare albino Galapagos giant tortoise has just been revealed to the world. The female tortoise was born on May 1st 2022 at Tropiquarium, a zoo located in Switzerland.
The tiny reptile weighed in at only 50 grams when she was born, surprising zookeepers by her white skin and shell and red eyes. Albinism in tortoises is extremely rare, occurring in 1 in 100,000 animals. There are currently no known cases of albino Galapagos tortoises in the wild or captivity, making this baby truly one of a kind!
Despite weighing twenty times less than a bag of sugar at birth, this little tortoise will grow to be enormous. Galapagos giant tortoises are the largest in the world- the tortoise’s mother weighed in at 220 lbs (100 kg.
This little albino tortoise wasn’t the only new arrival at the zoo. The tortoise’s mother laid two eggs, and her sister was born four days later on May 5th. Though the sister was also a very welcome arrival, though she had a black shell like her parents.
Galapagos giant tortoises have an extremely long lifespan, and can live for more than 100 years. In fact, the oldest tortoise in captivity lived to be 175 years old. The secret to their longer lifespans are gene variants that promote a quick repair of DNA and a natural defence against cancers.