Skink eggs rescued at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Sanctuary

10 February 2021

Vietnam is home to a diverse range of wildlife from insects to reptiles and birds.

Earlier in the year we found a mysterious clutch of reptile eggs in our Vietnam bear sanctuary hospital. Our vets lept into action to give them the best chance of survival.

When first examining the eggs we were unsure of the exact species we had found but we knew they were cold-blooded reptiles that required a moist and well-incubated environment.

Skink eggs found and rescued

Reptiles are unique in the animal kingdom as they are cold-blooded. This means they cannot regulate their body temperature in response to the outside temperature. Similar to birds’ eggs the rescued eggs needed to be kept warm to give them the best chance of hatching.

In the wild most reptiles dig holes in warm, secure places to lay their eggs but the eggs rely entirely on suitable weather and temperatures during their weeks of development.

We put them in a special substrate specifically designed to match their natural environment and kept them in an incubator to keep them warm.

Not knowing what species they were made it difficult to predict how long they would take to develop and hatch but it was estimated to be somewhere between two and six weeks.

Our veterinary team checked the eggs daily and found an amazing clutch of baby skinks had hatched around three weeks after their rescue.

Skinks are the most common lizard group in the world with over 1,500 species regarded as ‘skinks’ worldwide. They have smooth, slender bodies, long tails and short limbs. A typical adult will measure around 20cm (8 inches) long.

Skinks ready for release  
Our next goal was to release them back out into the sanctuary to live a full and free life. Although upon release we discovered the skinks were perfectly content in the environment we’d made for them and actually needed some light encouragement to leave their hatching container and explore the outside world. But once they were set free they revelled in their natural environment.

Although this was an unplanned and unexpected rescue, heartwarming moments like these remind us that a small act of kindness truly goes a long way to making the world a better place.

We’re working every day to make the world a better place for animals, please join us with a regular donation to help us rescue and improve the welfare of even more of Asia’s animals and wildlife.

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