Celebrations are in order as a brand new member of the Australia Zoo family has been welcomed by Robert Irwin.
The conservationist, 19, introduced an extremely rare species of turtle to the wildlife sanctuary after his father Steve Irwin discovered them in 1990.
The 19-year-old introduced the extraordinary creature to his 3.7 million Instagram followers, explaining the freshwater species was named Elseya Irwin, or “Irwin’s turtle” after his late father.
“For many years we’ve wanted to have them here at Australia Zoo, and finally we can say we’ve got them. We’ve actually rescued several Irwin’s Turtles,” he said.
“There’s simply not enough data known about them to classify them as an endangered species because they’re so incredibly rare.”
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He continued, “But what we do know is that they’re very much at the mercy of human-created threats. Things like dams, mining, pollution, habitat degradation.”
As he was gently handling the seemingly docile reptile, Robert went on to explain the Irwin’s Turtle lives “in very isolated pockets” of water.
“So if anything were to happen to these waterways it would be game over for the entire species,” he said.
“Which is why it’s so incredibly important to have a population here at Australia Zoo to ensure that this species can survive on for generations to come,” he added.
Image credit: Instagram
This article first appeared on Over60.