Oh Sweet Baby Pickles: A 90-Year-Old Tortoise Named Mr. Pickles Just Became A Father

March 23, 2023

A 90-year-old radiated tortoise named Mr. Pickles is finally a dad!

The babies are a big deal because Mr. Pickles is considered the most genetically valuable radiated tortoise in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.

Radiated tortoises produce few offspring and the species is critically endangered.

mr pickles baby tortoise
One of the babies | Credit: Jackelin Reyna / Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo announced the good news on March 16 that three radiated tortoise eggs had hatched.

The new hatchlings came as a surprise when a herpetology keeper happened upon Mrs. Pickles as the tortoise was laying her eggs at closing time.

The soil in Houston isn’t hospitable to the Madagascar native tortoises, and it's unlikely the eggs would have hatched on their own if the keeper hadn’t been in the right place at the right time.

Zookeepers named the babies Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeño.

Click Here For The Most Popular On Sunny Skyz