We’re celebrating a huge, record-breaking conservation win for one of the world’s rarest and most critically endangered reptiles – the Western Swamp Tortoise!

Over the past fortnight, an incredible 191 zoo-bred Western Swamp Tortoises were released in Scott National Park and Moore River. This is the largest release since the breed-for-release program was established in 1989!

For more than a century, these tortoises were believed to be extinct. By chance, they were rediscovered by a schoolboy in 1953 and found to still live in two small habitats near the Swan Valley.

Here at Perth Zoo, we’re doing all we can to bring this species back from the brink. Through our collaborative program, we’ve been able to breed record numbers to re-establish populations in the wild. How incredible is that?

Since 1989, Perth Zoo has bred more than 1200 Western Swamp Tortoises, of which more than 1000 have been released in the wild.

This is a massive win for conservation and a testament to the hard work and collaboration of Perth Zoo, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the University of Western Australia and the Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise community group.