13/10/2015

Dwarf croc babies

Five baby West African dwarf crocodiles have hatched at the Zoo.

The youngsters are just eight days old but can already be seen swimming alongside their parents in the Zoo’s Reptile House.

After three months of natural incubation, the eggs hatched to reveal baby crocodiles of approximately 15cm in length.   

Tim Skelton, Bristol Zoo’s Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, said: “The mother has been with us for over 20 years and we have reared the father since we rescued him over 10 years ago from a customs confiscation at Heathrow airport, so it’s great to see them rearing young so well.

“They are proving to be good and protective parents so we have let them get on with looking after the new arrivals with very little intervention. They seem to be doing well but we are keeping a close eye on them while they are still very young.”

This is the third breeding success for this species at Bristol Zoo in the last four years. Despite being a powerful predator itself, the West African dwarf crocodile is under threat. The main threats to this species are hunting for their meat and habitat loss through deforestation and logging.   

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Now faced with a third closure, the BZS Appeal is more important than ever