Although she is over a hundred years old, Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens resident Alberta didn’t let her age stop her from motherhood. Alberta, a Santa Cruz Galapagos tortoise, hid her eggs and nest from keepers for months while they incubated. On Thursday, the zookeepers made a surprising discovery of four hatchlings in a buried nest. A fifth baby was later found wandering around the exhibit.
The babies are currently small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. But Galapagos tortoises can reach 400 kg (880 lb.) in their long lifetime.
Galapagos tortoises are the largest species of tortoise. In the wild, they inhabit the Galapagos Islands, which are located 1,000 km (620 mi) west of Ecuador. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Redlist.