Crocodile

True or False: Rare Gharials Hatch at Audubon Zoo

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It's true!  Two False Gharials hatched at the Audubon Zoo in September are the first ever to hatch there and the first to hatch in captivity in the United States since 2009.

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Fbb7f315-9b9e-4814-95e3-a3eb9fd32b13Photo Credit:  Audubon Zoo
False Gharials are freshwater crocodilians native to Southeast Asia.  They have long, very thin snouts and inhabit swamps and rivers in Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra.

The two hatchlings increase the population of False Gharials at the Audubon Zoo to four.  Only about 30 False Gharials live in American zoos.

Breeding False Gharials is difficult because they require jungle-like conditions in captivity.  Audubon Zoo had been trying for years to breed their pair of False Gharials, and finally achieved success. Melanie Litton, senior reptile keeper at Audubon, said the success may be due, in part, to putting the male Gharial on a diet. “Obesity can effect potency in all kinds of animals, including humans,” Litton said.

Of a clutch of about 20 eggs, two were successfully fertilized, she said. Audubon Zoo will keep one hatchling, while the other will go to the Houston Zoo.

They are only a few inches long now, but will grow up to 15 feet long in adulthood.

False Gharials are considered one of the most threatened of all crocodilians, and were alarmingly close to extinction in the 1970s. They are threatened by habitat loss due to human encroachment and disruption of populations through fishing and hunting.  In recent years, however, there have been signs of recovery in the wild population. 


Rare Siamese Crocodiles Hatch High Hopes for Species

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A nest of 20 critically endangered Siamese crocodile eggs were found in the wild in Southeast Asia, and delivered to the care of keepers at Lao Zoo near Vientiane. They were hatched and are being raised in hopes of helping the population grow. There they will live until they are 18 months old, when they will be released back into the wild. Experts estimate there are as few as 300 Siamese crocodiles left in the world, so this hatching of 20 individuals is a significant addition to that total.

The clutch of eggs was found in June in Savannakhet by a team of local villagers. They were trained by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and are engaged in trying to save the species in Laos. 

"We're thrilled at the prospect of augmenting the wild population of Siamese crocodiles with a new batch of healthy juveniles," Chris Hallam, the WCS crocodile project coordinator, said.

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Photo Credits: M.Douangmyxay/ WCN Laos Program

 

Siamese crocodiles(Crocodylus siamensis) grow up to 10 feet long (3 meters) but are generally docile. That trait only makes them easier to hunt. In recent decades, the species has been preyed upon for its soft skin and meat. leading to it's dire status.


Snappy Baby Crocs!

This past Sunday, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park welcomed 10 snappy little Saltwater Crocodiles. Interesting coincidence that 10 little crocs hatched on 10-10-10! Many people don't know that baby crocodiles cry to get their mother's attention while inside the shell. When she hears the high pitched noises, which sound similar to a dog's squeaky toy, she will dutifully pick the noisy egg up and gently crack it inside her powerful jaws.

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Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1

Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1

Baby crocodiles st. augustine crocodile farm 1Photo credits: John Brueggen, Director of St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

One more gooey egg pic below the fold. It's extra gooey. You've been warned.

Continue reading "Snappy Baby Crocs!" »


Rare Crocodile Breeding Success in St. Augustine!

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has 3 brand new Slender-snouted Crocodiles and 13 more are on the way! Two of the babies (seen below) hatched on exhibit, and the third (also below) in an incubator. African Slender-snouted Crocodiles are rarely bred in captivity and little is known about their habits in the wild. Director John Brueggen says, "we have already learned that the parents opened the nest and carried the eggs to the water to free their young from the eggs.  They are both fantastic parents, defending their babies very aggressively." This is a very important pairing as both of these animals are wild caught and have never bred in captivity prior to this.  Their genes are an important part of the population of M. cataphractus in captivity.

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Photo Credits: St. Augustine Crocodile Farm


Frankfurt Zoo: Full of Not-So-Furry New Friends

These reptilian babies are as cute as can be, and they were photographed just one week ago (on my birthday).  Get on over to the Frankfurt Zoo to catch a firsthand glimpse. This croc won't be so cuddly for long!

Zoo Frankfurt's baby Australian Freshwater Cocodile makes eyes at photographer Joachim S. Müller... 

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A Juvenile European pond terrapin goes for a ride...

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The Frankfurt Zoological Garden is the zoo of Frankfurt, Germany. It features over 5,000 animals of more than 600 species on more than 13 hectares. The zoo was founded in 1858 and is the second oldest Zoo in Germany. It lies in the eastern part of the Innenstadt (inner city).