CUTE! Pancake tortoise born at Longleat

CUTE! Pancake tortoise born at Longleat

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:09pm 10th March 2020.

2 minute read

The tiny baby is only the size of a 50p coin, but is really important to the Wiltshire safari park.

Pancake tortoises are Critically Endangered, and this new little one is as a result of a captive breeding programme at Longleat.

Tiny pancake tortoise next to a pound coin at Longleat PIC BNPS
The baby is one of the smallest species they have at Longleat

Longleat's new addition has been born to first time mum Poppadom and dad Yua and weighs just 17 grams.

To put that into perspective that's as heavy as a CD or half as heavy as a light bulb.

As the name suggests, pancake tortoises are known for having flattened, flexible and lightweight shells - but babies have domed shells when they first arrive, gradually flattening as they mature.

Keeper Chloe Finch with the baby pancake tortoise at Longleat PIC BNPS
Keeper Chloe Finch with the baby pancake tortoise at Longleat

Pancake tortoises are also the world's fastest species of tortoises.

As their shells can't be used for protection, they have to rely on speed and agility to get away from predators.

The species has become critically endangered as a result of habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.

They can live for up to 35 years in captivity, with an average 25 year lifespan in the wild.

WHAT SHOULD THE BABY TORTOISE BE NAMED? 

Longleat is now asking for our help to decide what the little pancake tortoise should be called.

They've started a social media poll for us to choose between Syrup, Pringle and Croton.

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