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August 10, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Gotta Hatch ‘em All!

Victoria University has captured rare video footage of a tuatara hatching.

The egg was the last of 23 eggs incubated in captivity at the University this year.

The moment is a significant one in the joint program with the Department of Conservation and local Mana Whenua, Ngāti Manuhiri. The programme stretches back to the 1990s, aiming to recover tuatara populations on Hauturu ō Toi/Little Barrier Island, off the northeastern coast of the North Island.

Tuatara were once thought to be extinct on the island, but the discovery of a small population prompted an enthusiastic recovery effort.

Partially funded by the Hauturu Supporters Trust and Auckland Zoo, and led by Professor Charles Daugherty, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Victoria, tuatara eggs have been sent to the University for incubation and hatching, before being sent back to the island.

The recently released video captures the 255th tuatara to be hatched as part of the programme. The clip has been compressed from seven hours of footage by Warren Butcher from Victoria University’s Image Services team, and has been described as both “adorable” and “kind of gross” by viewers.

Victoria Design student Chris Kennedy, born in Invercargill, was visibly moved by the footage. “Tuataras were all we had; now that’s been taken away from us.”

The footage can be seen at here.

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