The Houston Zoo is welcoming some new friends to its long roster of adorable creatures. Over the past week, four new painted terrapins have hatched at the Houston Zoo.

The almost-extinct species is apart of the 25 most endangered turtles in the world, as its eggs and meat are sold for human consumption. The new turtles add to the Houston Zoo's ongoing effort to save the reptiles. Last year the wildlife park supported the work of Malaysian conservation specialists to protect 550 painted terrapin eggs in 33 nests in Sumatra. The turtles, typically found in rivers in Southeast Asia, live in freshwater or brackish water with low salinity, due to the inability to excrete salt from their bodies. 

The hatching of these painted terrapins was a collaborative effort among the veterinary herpetology departments at the Houston Zoo, as per a press release. The primate keepers and veterinarians watched over the adults, while the herpetology department kept an eye on the incubation process. Year-round maintenance of the water temperature helped the turtles to reproduce.

The Painted Terrapins can be seen now at the Wortham World of Primates at the Houston Zoo.

Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr. 

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