Rare Chinese turtles hatch at New York City zoo [VIDEO]

Five Chinese big-headed turtles hatched at the Prospect Park Zoo last month.
Posted By Kate Stanton  |  Dec. 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM
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Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, N.Y., worked tirelessly to create the perfect conditions to incubate and hatch five Chinese big-headed turtles, the first of their species born at a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Chinese big-headed turtles, an endangered species native to Southeast Asia, are so named because their thick sculls cannot withdraw into their shells.

The turtle babies hatched last month, joining 10 other members of their species at the zoo.

“With so many of the world’s freshwater turtles and tortoises facing extinction, these hatchlings represent significant progress for the conservation of the species," zoo director Denise McClean said in a statement. "The science could help expand breeding programs to other facilities and can be useful to conservation work in the field.”

Watch adorable video footage of the turtles hatching below:

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