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This week's animal of the week is the Chinese fire-bellied newt. We are lucky enough to see the new larvae Chinese fire-bellied newts that have hatched in the last couple of weeks up in the new Animal Management Centre.
Chinese fire-bellied newts are a small and largely aquatic amphibian originating from China. They live in slow moving streams and rivers and can also be found in ponds, lakes and ditches.
They spend most of their time in water and are generally active so they need a lot of space and enrichment. Also, they have delicate skin and secrete a toxin from the poison glands on the side of their heads that can be an irritant to your skin.
Male Chinese fire-bellied newts can be distinguished easily during the breeding season (March to July), as they develop a blue sheen on their tails to attract a mate. At this time, females will also become swollen with eggs and are generally fatter than the males when viewed from above.