The western Hermann’s tortoise is a common animal kept as a fun, easy-to-care-for pet around the world.
When turtle breeder Chris Leone of Garden State Tortoise was watching some of the western Hermann’s hatching one day, though, he noticed that one egg in particular was having a bit of trouble—and upon closer inspection, discovered an incredibly rare tortoise trying to survive.
It’s not often that a tortoise shell is home to two baby creatures, but Leone realized that the egg having difficulty actually contained not one, but two little babies trying to break free.
As rare as tortoise twins are, it’s even rarer for one or both to survive the hatching process. Although they were not physically connected in a way that would leave them attached for life, they shared a single yolk sac.
That means that not only is it difficult to break out of their shell, it’s even tougher to make it those first few days as they try to separate from the yolk and one another.
Armed with that knowledge, Leone quickly went to work separating the infants, using dental floss to tie off the yolk sac on each tortoise with a friend and letting the tight thread ease their separation much faster.
Although twins are incredibly common in mammals—as a matter of fact, humans are some of the few mammals that don’t regularly give birth to twins or other sets of multiples—the phenomenon is far less common when it comes to reptiles.
Luckily for these two, though, Leone’s quick thinking and gentle touch means that this set of rare siblings will have a chance to thrive!
Source: ©Facebook Video Screenshot | Chris Leone/Garden State Tortoise