This species is endemic to the Solomon Islands. They are unusual lizards - they are herbivores, spend most of their lives in trees and are viviparous. The little ones are twins, born on October 8 and you can see them in the Terrarium at the Wrocław zoo, where they live together with adult individuals.
The employees of the Wrocław zoo waited 10 years for the birth of Solomon Islands skinks. The long wait has been rewarded with twins, which is rare in this species. Now the Wrocław zoo has one of the largest groups in Europe, with 6 individuals, and is one of the few facilities that has managed to reproduce Solomon Islands skinks more than once. Taking into account their deteriorating situation in the natural environment, such birth is a great success.
- We are very happy about this offspring. The skink is not a common animal and it doesn’t reproduce easily. In the Solomon Islands it is more and more threatened with extinction due to hunting and deforestation. This is another case where breeding in a zoo can save a species from extinction - says Radosław Ratajszczak, president of the Wrocław zoo.
The young were born on Thursday, October 8 this year, and you can see them together with adults on the first floor of the Terrarium, next to the plumed basilisks.
- It is a demanding species to breed. It comes from the Solomon Islands, where the climate is hot and humid (up to 90%). Maintaining adequate humidity is crucial and requires constant monitoring. Neglecting it may cause problems with appetite, molting and even reproduction. They have a small waterfall and a pond here, because they like to lick water drops off trees and rocks. Additionally, it is good for them to have live plants in the enclosure. They serve them not only as food, but also as a shelter and diversification of the living environment. Of course, those are eaten quite quickly, so I plant new ones almost every week - says Damian Konkol, the keeper at the Zoo Wrocław terrarium.
The newborns are quite large, about 30 cm long - half the adult size! They have not yet started to eat on their own because they still have their yolk reserves. The mother is always nearby, protecting the brood. The other two females in the group also exhibit protective behavior and became aggressive towards the caretakers. It makes taking care of them more challenging, because when I go into their tank to clean up or leave food, the mother tries to protect the young. Fortunately, it's nothing I can't deal with! - adds Konkol.