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The Zoo holds 2 males and 2 females of this critically endangered species.
Typically one animal can be found on exhibit in the Reptile House and during the summer months, additional specimens may be found in pools in Bird Valley.
One pair was acquired in 1993 from the US Fish & Wildlife Service following their seizure due to illegal importation from Guatemala.
The other pair, also a USFWS seizure, originated in Belize.
Reptile and Amphibian House
Large turtle with a dark, smooth, flat shell (carapace). Males and females are similar in color but females have olive/gray heads, compared to yellowish to red-brown heads of the males. Adult males also have larger tails than females.
One published report identifies a maximum lifespan of 50 years, though most references state that longevity is unknown.
The Central American river turtle, or "hicatee", is most active at night.
Females usually lay 6-20 eggs on the edge of a riverbank during the months of September-November.
Up to two feet.
On the 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Central American river turtle is listed as Critically Endangered.
Veracruz, Mexico, south to Honduras, northern Guatemala and Belize.
On the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Central American river turtle is listed as Critically Endangered.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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