Four endangered American crocodiles are born in Peru

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Lima (AFP) – A zoo in Lima announced Thursday the birth in captivity of four American crocodiles, an endangered species, after successful artificial incubation.

The crocodile hatchlings are born in mid-January after 78 days of incubation from the eggs of a couple of adult crocodiles that live in the Huachipa Zoological Park, east of Lima.

“We have now shown these baby crocodiles that were born 45 days ago at the zoo,” Jose Flores, head of the zoo’s reptile area, told AFP.

“Any birth of a threatened species and (in) danger of extinction must be considered an achievement,” he stressed.

The hatchlings live in a special aquarium, measure 26 centimeters (10.2 inches) and weigh between 70 and 90 grams (0.15 to 0.19 lb) each.

They have the species’ traditional olive-green color and protruding eyes. They feed on small pieces of chicken and fish.

In Peru, they are known as “Tumbes crocodiles” because their natural habitat is the mangroves of Tumbes, on the border with Ecuador.

“This species, in Peru, is in danger of extinction mainly due to the destruction of its natural habitat,” explained Flores, 39.

The little reptiles belong to the species Crocodylus Acutus and are the only ones to have survived from the 25 eggs that the mother incubated.

At 195 kilograms (430 pounds), the crocodile father is five meters (yards) long while the mother is 2.5 meters long and weighs 85 kilograms. They are both 20 years old.

A 45-day-old newborn American crocodile is measured during its periodic check-up at the zoo in Huachipa, Peru, March 10, 2022. The zoo announced the birth in captivity of four endangered American crocodiles , after a successful 78-day period of artificial incubation from the eggs of a couple of adult crocodiles living in the park Cris BOURONCLEAFP

This species is found in the southern United States, Mexico, and Venezuela, but in countries like Peru and Ecuador it is critically endangered.

The relentless hunt for their skins drastically reduced their numbers in the 1960s. Restrictions now control the trade in crocodiles and their skins.

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