A pancake tortoise has been born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo just on time for Pancake Day.
The tortoise has been named Pamba and is an important addition to the Zoo as the species is classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Gareth Bennett, Senior Presentation Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We are very happy to announce the hatching of a pancake tortoise here at the Zoo. Pancake Day is a great opportunity for us to highlight the threats that the species face in the wild.
“The wild population is under threat due to young pancake tortoises being captured to be sold as pets. Pamba’s parents are an example of this as they joined us after being seized by UK customs having been illegally imported. We welcomed them into our care and are very pleased to say they have thrived here.
“Pamba’s birth is very important as it adds important genetic diversity to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, which is helping to safeguard the species from the decline in the wild.”
Pancake tortoises are also under threat by continued destruction of their natural habitat of Kenya and Tanzania for agricultural developments and overgrazing of domestic cattle and goats.
Pamba won’t be on show until the young tortoise is a little older but visitors to the Zoo can see Pamba’s parents in the Wee Beasties exhibit.