April 18, 2021
Baby tuatara spotted in sanctuary
A Māori zoology student has had a rare sighting of five new hatchling tuatara.
Research assistant Jade Christiansen spotted the hatchlings while she was retrieving temperature recording equipment at Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin as part of her Te Ngaru Paewhenua: Māori and Pacific Science Summer Studentship.
University of Otago spokesperson Matiu Workman says it could be the last time they are seen until they reach adulthood.
"The next time these tuatara will probably be seen with the naked eye will probably not be until 2031 when they are getting towards adult size so a precious moment for our researchers and our summer studentship students but a really beautiful time as well and a piece of history," he says.
About 100 tuatara have been released at the sanctuary since 2012.
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