With the recent hatching of two Cuban crocodiles, the National Zoo just got a little snappier! These feisty reptiles hatched July 6 and 14 and are among the most genetically valuable individuals in the Cuban crocodile population under human care. Their wild-born mother hadn’t laid eggs in many years, which made this year’s event a very pleasant surprise for the keepers at the Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center.
Cuban crocodiles are charismatic, acrobatic reptiles with beautiful coloration. But because of hunting and hybridization with American crocodiles, the species is critically endangered with only an estimated 4,000 left in two small areas in Cuba. The two crocs born at the Zoo are part of the Species Survival Plan’s goal of maintaining a population that is genetically viable for the foreseeable future. One or both of the crocodiles will likely be on exhibit for a few months at the Reptile Discovery Center.
Posted: 26 July 2012