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Wildlife Conservation Society
Five Chinese big-headed turtles are among the latest newcomes to Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo.
Hatched in November, this is the first time the endangered species has successfully reproduced at a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The Chinese big-headed turtle can grow to be about seven inches in length. It has a skull of solid bone that is so large in proportion to its body that it cannot be withdrawn into its shell for protection.
WCS now has 15 Chinese big-headed turtles at the Bronx and Prospect Park Zoos –the largest collection of the species in any AZA-accredited zoo. The hatchlings and most adults are housed in off-exhibit areas of the zoos, but one adult female is on exhibit at the Animals in Our Lives building at the Prospect Park Zoo.
Chinese big-headed turtles are native to China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The species is classified as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population is declining due to trade demand across its Asian range countries.