On March, 3rd, 2020, a 100-year-old South American river turtle at the Emperor Valley Zoo in Spain was spotted laying eggs after having no visitors for many days due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sharlene Khan, a zoological officer shared a couple of pictures to Facebook showing the turtle digging in the sandy bank with her flippers and laying the eggs. Last year the turtle laid eggs twice but in the water where they were not capable of successfully hatching.
The zoo believes she buried them properly this time because it’s been quiet at the zoo since it’s been closed. With no foot traffic and loud talking from the constant crowds of people, plus, no loud car noises from the nearby roads, the turtle has felt comfortable with laying her eggs.
“It is known that the South American river turtle species is highly aquatic and only venture out of water to lay eggs on land. This now quiet atmosphere at the Zoo must have been an ideal condition for her to choose to nest now on land as they naturally do in the wild,” Loop reported.
Sharlene spotted the turtle laying the eggs around 5:30am on March 3rd, 2020, and immediately took pictures of the moment. It took the turtle about 3 hours to lay all of her eggs and will take 45 to 65 days for the eggs to hatch. The zoo is closely monitoring the nesting site and it’s very exciting because this turtle has been at the zoo since it opened in 1952.