An 80-year-old Galapagos tortoise named Nigrita recently became a mom after her 9 eggs hatched at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland. While the new mom might seem a wee bit old to have babies, she’s actually in her prime as her species are among the longest-living animals on Earth – the oldest on record lived to be 152!
They live so long partly due to their slow metabolism and large internal stores of water. These tortoises can go one year without food or water! That’s why they were a good source of fresh meat while at sea for many ships that visited the Galapagos islands back in the 1800s.
Sadly, now these giant creatures are listed as endangered animals, and Nigrita and her 9 hatchlings are part of a breeding program at the zoo that is aimed at saving the endangered species from extinction.