CHESTER Zoo is paying special care to some new arrivals.
The zoo’s lead keeper of reptiles, Karen Entwistle, is looking after some baby Radiated tortoises, nine of which recently hatched.
Native to the island of Madagascar, the species is critically endangered due to loss of habitat, over exploitation from the pet trade and illegal poaching.
Miss Entwistle said: “In the wild, these tortoises are now being poached for food which, along with pressure from the pet trade and loss of habitat, has resulted in them becoming one of the most endangered tortoise species in the world.
“These hatchlings are therefore important and offer hope for the future of the species.”
The tortoises will eventually move on to other zoos as part of a European breeding programme designed to safeguard their future.