With a face only a mother could love - a baby tuatara was captured on film as it hatched out of its egg at Victoria University of Wellington.

Twenty three eggs were incubated in captivity this year, as a part of an intensive conservation recovery plan between Victoria University, the Department of Conservation (DoC) and local Mana Whenua Ngati Manuhiri, to help save the tuatara from extinction.

Captured using a low-cost microcomputer and infrared camera, the tuatara took seven hours to hatch and was the last of the twenty three eggs.

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The baby reptile also happens to be the 255th tuatara to be hatched at Victoria University since the programme began in the early 1990s.

Watch the time-lapse of the tuatara hatching below:

This is extremely rare footage of a tuatara hatching, filmed at Victoria University of Wellington. The egg was one of 23 being incubated in captivity as part of a joint initiative with the Department of Conservation and Ngati Manuhiri that has saved a threatened population of tuatara from extinction.

Herald App users tap here to view the video.