October 15, 2019
- as seen by -Don Boyer
Forsten’s tortoise (Indotestudo forstenii) is a medium-sized tortoise species and Indonesian native found on the Islands of Sulawesi and Halmahera. It inhabits the undisturbed damp rainforest regions. Its conservation status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is “Endangered” due to habitat destruction, hunting for food, and to supply the wildlife trade. This tortoise is overall light-yellow beige coloration is ideal camouflage for the forest floor. It is primarily active at dawn and dusk foraging for fruits, leaves, worms, and slugs. The species has reproduced at WCS’s Bronx Zoo in the past and on November 16, 2018 another hatchling emerged from its egg.
This hatchling, about the size of a small tangerine, is in the zoo’s World of Reptiles nursery. In nature, it blends in perfectly on the tropical rainforest floor looking like a piece of fallen rotten fruit.