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A handful of endangered lizards with bodies nearly entirely comprised of their tails were born at a zoo in the U.K. recently.
Four blue tree monitor lizards were born while Bristol Zoo was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, British news agency SWNS reports. The zoo has since reopened. Zookeepers have been caring for the endangered reptile species, which was only discovered in 2001.
"This is our second breeding success with the species and it is very important because we are trying to ensure a healthy population is maintained in European zoos," senior zookeeper Adam Davis said.
Bristol Zoo’s popular Bug World and Reptile House has reopened for the first time since lockdown with a number of new animals that have hatched during the closure. They include these four blue tree monitor lizards which emerged from eggs just 5cm long. (SWNS)
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At birth, the blue tree monitor lizards were just 5 centimeters ( about 2 inches) in length and weighed just 13 grams (half an ounce).
When fully grown, they reach 27 centimeters (10.6 inches) in length, with two-thirds of that in their tail.
The Bristol Zoo, which is home to many other endangered animals including lemurs, lions and gorillas, is the only zoo in the U.K. to have successfully bred the lizards.
The endangered blue tree monitors, which were only discovered in 2001, are part of a European conservation breeding program overseen by Bristol Zoo’s Senior Reptile Keeper, Adam Davis. (SWNS)
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In addition, a pancake tortoise was also born during the lockdown, the zoo added.
The pancake tortoise born at the Bristol Zoo. (SWNS)
Pancake tortoises are considered "vulnerable" due in large part to habitat loss and being sold for pets on the international markets, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology.
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