They say a watched pot never boils and I think this theory can be applied to tortoises... the watched egg never hatches. Day 65 was the expected but not definitive due date. Persephone's eggs have always hatched within 3 days of 65 days, but this time they did not. I had planned to be at home for the weekend of days 67, 68 and I had managed my work diary so that lunch time checks were possible, but still nothing.
The weekend just gone was an action packed one, with the Zoo to celebrate nieces and nephews birthdays on the Saturday (day 74) and an Art Nouveau fair in London on the Sunday (day 75). No time to watch the eggs, but when I finally got home late Sunday night, look who greeted me....
What a sight! I couldn't believe how sweet she looked, just poking her head out and getting a feel for the world before she decided whether or not to join it!
I should add, I am quite confident that this years hatchlings are most likely to be girls. This is because the sex of reptiles is temperature dependent and this year I incubated at 32 degrees C which means they are likely to be female. Now the other info you need is that it is best not to rush a tortoise when it is hatching, this is because they need to soak up the yolk in the egg before they hatch. If the yolk is ruptured then the tortoise is not likely to make it into this world. So when I say from Sunday until this evening she has slowly wiggled in her shell to the point of hatching at about 5.30pm today, this is normal and a very good thing! Below are a few pictures over the last few days as she contemplated the next stage in her life (sorry the quality of the photo's is variable) .....
Isn't she lovely? she weight 12.7g which is actually quite hefty and she is about the size of a fifty pence piece. I can't name her because this year I have decided I am selling all of the hatchlings. I haven't sold any before, but I have to be tough, other wise I will become over run by tortoises and gain the title of "The Mad Tortoise Lady!
The good news is that one other egg has pipped and will hopefully be joining the world soon.