A tiny critically endangered gecko has been hatched at Bristol Zoo measuring just 20 mm long – about the width of a 20p piece.
But it is a perfect miniature of its mum and dad.
It is a turquoise blue gecko and it hatched at the Zoo after two months incubation at 25C.
Turquoise blue geckos are from Tanzania and are critically endangered.
This one is only the second ever to be hatched at the 180-year-old Zoo and is eating well living on a diet of fruit flies and first instar crickets.
Its parents were amongst 165 turquoise dwarf geckos seized by Broder Force officers at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 last year in a consignment which also included chameleons, scorpions and frogs.
Turquoise dwarf geckos are only found in two locations in Tanzania and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Only the males are blue but their colour doesn’t become apparent until they are a few months old so at the moment reptile keepers at Bristol Zoo don’t know whether this latest arrival is a boy or a girl.
Its mum and dad can be seen in the Zoo’s Reptile House but this one is one is too small at the moment to join them.
Tim Skelton, curator of reptiles and amphibians at Bristol Zoo, said: “This is a really significant event because their habitat is being destroyed during logging and many have been over collected for the pet trade as this baby’s parents were. If we can establish a genuine ex-situ breeding programme, we can begin to manage their recovery.”
The turquoise dwarf gecko enclosure is kindly sponsored by My Claim Solved Ltd.
Bristol, Clifton & West of England Zoological Society Ltd. Registered office: Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA. Company registered in England, number 5154176. Charity registered number 1104986.