World’s smallest baby boy set to go home in Japan

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Ryusuke Sekino, a 5-month-old boy who was just 258 grams (9 ounces) when born, sits in the arms of his mother Toshiko Sekino at a hospital in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, Friday, April 19, 2019. (AP)
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Six-month-old Ryusuke Sekiya (C) is pictured with his parents one day before his scheduled discharge from a hospital in Azumino, Nagano prefecture on April 19, 2019. (AFP)
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Ryusuke Sekino, a 5-month-old boy who was just 258 grams (9 ounces) when born, sits in the arms of his mother Toshiko Sekino, accompanied by his father Kohei Sekino, right, at a hospital in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, Friday, April 19, 2019. (AP)
Updated 20 April 2019
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World’s smallest baby boy set to go home in Japan

  • The smallest surviving girl was born in Germany in 2015 weighing 252 grams, according to a registry put together by the University of Iowa of the world’s tiniest surviving babies

TOKYO: The world’s smallest baby boy, who was born in October in Japan weighing as much as an apple, is now ready for the outside world, his doctor said Friday.
Ryusuke Sekiya was delivered via emergency Caesarean section, after 24 weeks and five days of pregnancy as his mother Toshiko experienced hypertension.
At 258 grams (9.1 ounces) he was even lighter than the previous record holder, another Japanese boy who weighed just 268 grams when he was born last year. That baby was discharged from a Tokyo hospital in February.
When Ryusuke was born on October 1, 2018, he measured 22 centimeters (8.66 inches) tall, and medical staff kept him in a neonatal intensive care unit.
They used tubes to feed him, sometimes taking cotton swabs to apply his mother’s milk to his mouth.
Nearly seven months later, the boy has grown 13 times in weight, now weighing over three kilogrammes. He will be released from Nagano Children’s Hospital in central Japan over the weekend.
“When he was born, he was so small, and it seemed as if he would break with a touch. I was so worried,” his mother Toshiko told reporters.
“Now he drinks milk. We can give him a bath. I am happy that I can see him growing,” she said.
The smallest surviving girl was born in Germany in 2015 weighing 252 grams, according to a registry put together by the University of Iowa of the world’s tiniest surviving babies.
The survival rate for tiny babies is substantially lower for boys than for girls.


Two-headed turtle born in Malaysia

Updated 18 July 2019
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Two-headed turtle born in Malaysia

  • While rare, it was not the first time a two-headed baby turtle has been found
  • Green turtles are one of the largest sea turtles

KUALA LUMPUR: A two-headed baby turtle has been born in Malaysia, captivating conservationists, but it only survived a few days after being discovered.
It was found Monday on Mabul island, off the Malaysian part of Borneo, in a nest alongside more than 90 other recently hatched green turtles.
David McCann, marine biologist and conservation manager for group SJ SEAS — which oversees the nesting site — said the creature was “utterly fascinating.”
“The right head seems to control the front right flipper, and the left head the front left flipper. Yet they are capable of coordinating their movements in order to walk and swim,” he said in a statement.
SJ SEAS chairman Mohamad Khairuddin Riman added: “We have released around 13,000 hatchlings from the hatchery and have never seen anything like this before.”
But the turtle died late Wednesday, Sen Nathan, a vet from Sabah Wildlife Department, told AFP.
He said the cause of death was not yet known but added the turtle would have had little chance of surviving long in the wild.
“It would have been poached by an eagle because it could not swim well,” he said.
While rare, it was not the first time a two-headed baby turtle has been found.
Nathan said one was discovered in 2014, on an island off Malaysia’s east coast, which survived for three months.
Green turtles are one of the largest sea turtles, and are mainly found in tropical and subtropical waters.
Classified as endangered, they are threatened by habitat loss as well as by poachers who hunt them for their meat and eggs.