Zoo Knoxville Successfully Hatches a Black-breasted Leaf Turtle

August 22, 2016

A hatchling black-breasted leaf turtle at Zoo Knoxville.

Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville in Knoxville, TN announced that it has successfully hatched a black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda spengleri) , a rare feat considering these turtles have typical clutch sizes of just one or two eggs.

The zoo, which is part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums captive breeding program for the endangered turtle, first successfully hatched a black-breasted leaf turtle in 2005. It had a single female turtle for many years and added a male in the mid 2000’s, according to Stephen Nelson, the zoo’s herpetologist who oversees the breeding program. That introduction led to the zoo's first successful black-breasted leaf turtle offspring.

"At Zoo Knoxville, we have one male, three females, and the new hatchling (one of the females is a sub-adult and not yet of reproductive size)," Nelson told ReptilesMagazine.com. "In the overall AZA studbook population there are 42 males, 67 females, and 29 unsexed turtle as of early January 2015."

Nelson told ReptilesMagazine.com that the population of the turtle in the wild is unknown, though researchers believe that it is declining due to over collection.

"The greatest threat to this species in the wild is over collection, namely for the food trade in Southeast Asia and the pet trade," Nelson told ReptilesMagazine.com. "The IUCN Red List lists this species as Endangered. If the current collection trend continues then the future for this species may be grim."

Related Articles

Former Wild Recon Host Donald Schultz Accused Of Illegally Selling Endangered Lizards

Ex Animal Planet host charged with selling Iranian desert monitors to undercover USFWS agents

Zoo Atlanta's Komodo Dragon, Slasher Dies At 20

Reptile was euthanized due to age-related complications.

Komodo Dragon Attacks Park Employees At Komodo National Park

Employees both bitten in leg by Varanus komodoensis.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What is your favorite venomous snake?


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit ModuleShow Tags