(ENDANGERED SPECIES) WASHINGTON DC — Two endangered Cuban crocodiles hatched at the National Zoo, making them the first successful hatchlings in 25 years. The baby crocs’ mother was born in the wild and at 55 years old, was thought to be barren. There are fewer than 6,000 Cuban crocodiles in the wild and are only found in two small areas of Cuba. Read on for more on these miraculous bundles of joy. — Global Animal
Associated Press, Brett Zongker
Two endangered Cuban crocodiles have hatched at the National Zoo in Washington.
The hatchings are considered genetically valuable because their mother, Dorothy, was caught in the wild. Dorothy is thought to be 55 years old and zookeepers figured she had stopped laying eggs years ago.
But when they discovered she had laid eggs, they took great care to incubate them for months. Only two of the eggs hatched successfully, the first Cuban crocs to do so at the zoo in nearly 25 years.
Scientists believe there are fewer than 6,000 Cuban crocs remaining in the wild in two small areas of Cuba.
U.S. zoos are trying to expand the population, though births are rare. There have been a handful of hatchings in Florida and Kentucky zoos.