RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is celebrating Pancake Day with the arrival of a very special little tortoise.
Born just in time for Shrove Tuesday, the pancake tortoise has been named Pamba and is an important addition to the zoo as the species is classed as ‘vulnerable’ in the wild.
Gareth Bennett, Senior Presentation Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We are very happy to be announcing the hatching of the first ever pancake tortoise to be born 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 from Edinburgh Airport, where they had been seized by customs after being 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 from continued destruction of their natural habitat in Kenya and Tanzania for agricultural developments and overgrazing of domestic cattle and goats.
The young tortoise won’t be on show until it is a little older, but visitors can see Pamba’s parents in the Wee Beasties exhibit. For more information on visiting Edinburgh Zoo go to edinburghzoo.org.uk