Keepers celebrate success of pancake tortoise breeding programme

Claire Hayhurst, PA
·1-min read

Keepers at Longleat are celebrating the success of their pancake tortoise breeding programme.

Over the past year, five of the critically-endangered species have been born at the Wiltshire safari park.

The eldest, named Syrup, was born to parents Poppadom and Jua on February 16 last year.

He was followed by siblings Banana, Peanut, Piccolo and Prairie.

A pancake tortoise called Syrup (far right) who celebrates his first birthday today, Shrove Tuesday
A pancake tortoise called Syrup (far right) who celebrates his first birthday today, Shrove Tuesday (Ian Turner/Longleat)

Pancake tortoises, which are native to Kenya and Tanzania, are known for their speed, agility and climbing skills.

The greatest threats facing the species are habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.

Due to their slow reproductive rates, wild populations can take a long time to recover if numbers fall.

In the wild, pancake tortoises can live for up to 25 years but the maximum recorded age in captivity is 35 years.