Rare batagur baska turtles make debut at Prague Zoo

The Czech zoo says it is the only place outside Asia where the public can see the reptiles, which are also known as Northern river terrapins.

According to the IUCN's Red List, the species has only 100 mature individuals left in the Sundarbans area of India and Bangladesh, and are considered to be extinct in some parts of Asia, including Thailand.

Reptiles zookeeper Petr Velensky said the batagur baska would already extinct if it wasn't for their longevity and for Asian villagers who kept them in their private ponds for good luck.

He added that the survival of the species is dependant on human care as they cannot currently return the turtles to their natural habitat.

The youngsters, currently about 30-centimetres-long (12 inches), were all born in 2016 at a zoo in Vienna, which has been involved in the preservation efforts of the species, Prague Zoo said in a statement.

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