2 endangered turtles hatch at Columbus Zoo

(Amanda Cranberry, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

POWELL, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed two endangered turtle hatchlings to the world last month.

The zoo says on Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, reptile keepers at the Zoo's Shores region successfully hatched the rare yellow-headed temple turtles. They are the first ever hatched in an indoor zoological environment.

“Turtles and tortoises are some of the most endangered animals on the planet,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Stalf.

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Tha hatchlings are about the size a racquetball and now weigh approximately 80 grams, the zoo said.

The zoo says out of a total of five eggs, one turtle hatched on its own, and the care team helped another break out of its shell when it was experiencing some difficulties. Two other eggs did not contain viable hatchlings. The fifth egg did not hatch.

Three adult temple turtles live at the Columbus Zoo — one male and two females.