conducting turtle surveys on the Holston River in Washington County,
DGIF Biologists captured this exceptionally rare leucistic Common
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).
Pictured on the left is the
normal coloration. Leucism is a condition in which there is partial loss
of pigmentation resulting in a pale or “white” appearance. In deer,
this condition is often referred to as “piebald”. The turtle was
80-year old Galapagos Tortoise, Nigrita (named after a type of finch), is now the proud mom of nine hatchlings at the Zurich Zoo. For her species, laying eggs at 80 is no big deal. She weighs 200 lbs and is in the prime of her life. The proud father, Jumbo, is 36 years younger but about twice her size.
These gorgeous giants, with the help of the Zoo staff and the Swiss Association of Friends of the Galapagos Islands, are the proud parents of 9 shells, tiny in size but giant in impact. These little ones, along with those young hatchlings recently discovered on the islands themselves, will carry on the legacy of the wisest creatures on our planet.
Just think what they will have witnessed when they’re their mother’s size?