Rare Conjoined Tortoise Twins are Successfully Separated
A rare set of tiny tortoise twins have been successfully separated after they were born conjoined at their yolk sac.
The creatures were born at Garden State Tortoise, a New Jersey-based organization that breeds turtles and tortoises from all over the world.
On October 11, the organization's founder, Chris Leon, noticed that a tortoise was struggling to leave its shell so he decided to lend a helping hand.
"To my surprise, the reason the baby couldn't exit was because it was attached to its twin," he told INSIDE EDITION. "I helped them out of the egg and discovered they were joined at the yolk sac which is basically the equivalent to an umbilical. Immediately we knew we had a bit of a challenge on our hands."
By gently using dental floss, he managed to safely sever the miniscule sac. Two days later, the tortoises - named BumbleBee and Yellowjacket - were fully separated.
Chris added that it is not common to find twin tortoises. Often one twin will die because it is underdeveloped, he said.
"We lucked out with these two gems because they were attached only by the yolk sac," he said.
BumbleBee and Yellowjacket are now in an incubator, where they are thriving thanks to care from Chris and his wife.
"They'll stay in the incubator for a little while until they start taking their first meals and then they'll be moved to a similar indoor enclosure that other babies like them are reared in," he said.
"We expect them to do just as well as the rest as soon as they are out of this sensitive stage. So, it's looking great for them!"