I partner with an organization called The Turtle Room. The Turtle Room’s focus is to educate and perpetuate the genetic diversity of endangered turtle and tortoise species. They are remarkable, successful, and devote hours to their cause.
A leopard tortoise visited me recently from this organization when it was having difficulty laying eggs. The Leopard Tortoise is native to eastern and Southern Africa – she was definitely a long way from home! I was impressed by how intricately beautiful the shell or carapace is – it’s not easily confused by any other tortoise species.
Anytime a dog, cat, or tortoise is having difficulty passing eggs or a fetus through the birthing canal, we take an X-ray, or radiograph, to determine how many we need to account for before the process is complete.
Below are the radiograph pictures we took of this leopard tortoise. Can you find the eggs in the xrays?
Once we determined how many eggs we needed to account for, I administered a large dose of oxytocin, a hormone to assist with egg laying, in the thigh muscle of this tortoise. Shortly after this hormone was administered, all of the eggs seen on this tortoise’s radiographs were accounted for! Miraculous if you ask me!
Have a question or comment about working with endangered animals or egg laying in tortoises? Post it below!