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Just a few inches long, two Indian Star Tortoises hatched at the Taronga Zoo in late October are already living life in the fast lane.  These normally slow-moving babies can really hoof it when lunch is delivered at the zoo.

Once their meal of greens, veggies, and berries is placed before them, the Tortoises climb into their food bowl.  Surrounded by their tasty treats, the Tortoises start munching away. Hibiscus flowers are offered as a special delicacy.

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Taronga Zoo has enjoyed recent success breeding Indian Star Tortoises.  The zoo’s collection includes five adults, a four-year-old, and a one-year-old, in addition to these two new babies. 

Indian Star Tortoises are named for the striking black markings on their high domed shells.  Highly sought after for the exotic pet trade, populations of these Tortoises are declining in their native India and Sri Lanka.  Because Indian Star Tortoises have low reproduction rates, the Taronga Zoo’s breeding program is important to the captive population. 

Photo Credit:  Taronga Zoo