TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Zoo announces the hatching of 25 Aldabra tortoises, saying it is a new record for the zoo.

In a news release, the Tulsa Zoo says they have successfully hatched 161 Aldabra tortoises since 1999, when it started breeding the species.

The zoo says it is the only accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums institution to successfully hatch eggs from two females. 

“Starting in the late ‘90s we moved the females into a separate enclosure for the summer,” says Zookeeper Aaron Goodwin. 

“Male and female Aldabras have been observed by field researchers spending time apart. So we experimented. It’s difficult to move a 175 pound tortoise but after the girls’ first summer vacation, as we call it, they started laying fertile clutches. All of the hard work was, and is, definitely worth it.” 

Tulsa Zoo visitors can see several of the tortoise hatchlings in the reptile nursery in the zoo's conservation center.  The tortoises currently weigh between 60 to 200 grams and guests can watch as they grow in their new exhibit. 

The zoo is located in Tulsa's Mohawk Park in the 6400 block of East 36th Street North.