Crack a smile! Grinning baby tortoise looks gleeful as it emerges from egg

This adorable baby tortoise appears to be full of joy – cracking a smile as it emerges from its egg.

A perfectly timed snap shows the exact moment this tiny tortoise broke through the shell of its egg and appeared to grin as it saw the outside world for the first time.

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Photographer Alessio Caria was over the moon to have captured such a momentous occasion two weeks ago after spending several months monitoring the eggs he’d found in his courtyard.

The 44-year-old nature enthusiast now believes he’s inadvertently adopted the slow-footed reptiles and even named this tortoise ‘Piccola Magia’ which means little magic.

Alessio from Sardinia, Italy, said: “I have these tortoises in the back and it’s almost like I’m raising and nurturing all of them because I follow them quite closely.

“I think the photograph is a unique snapshot as I don’t believe many people have ever watched a tortoise emerge from its shell –  it’s a truly beautiful sight.

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“I’m really pleased with the photo because it seems to be liked by many people. The whole world has sent me comments about it so it’s quite overwhelming.

“From an aesthetic point of view, it’s not the best as it’s not a large field or mountain or an optical illusion but it’s just nature in its purest form.

“I could have snapped a better photo from a technical standpoint, but I think the picture transmits strong emotions that make it a powerful photo.

“To me, the photo is simplistic and flawed but shows the creation of life in a very raw form so it’s truly emotive in that way. It’s the magic of life.”

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The civil servant has shelled out over £4,000 on photography since buying his first camera in 2013 but has no regrets as the hobby allows him to immerse himself in his lifelong passion for nature.

Alessio said: “I decided to pursue photography quite late in life but I’ve always admired photos of nature and thought I wanted to start taking the same exhilarant and emotive pictures myself.

“I take pictures for a laugh with the little I have. I’m nowhere close to a professional.

“I spent about 10 minutes just trying to adjust and figure out the depth of field. But it’s all a learning process.

“You can take one photo in 10 hours of waiting or 100 photos in a few minutes. In nature photography nothing is certain – only adventure.”