TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Four critically endangered gharial crocodiles were born at the Fort Worth Zoo on Thursday.
The zoo announced that “history was made” when the crocodiles hatched. They said in a Twitter post that is a “monumental conservation success.”
The Fort Worth Zoo is the only institution in the nation to have reproduced multiple offspring of this species.
According to this Texas zoo, the hatchings will live “behind the scenes” so staff can closely monitor them. The crocodiles’ growth and development will be continuously updated on their page.
Decades of effort have been put into reproducing the gharial crocodile species in order to grow the population. Conservation is very important, as they have dedicated a habitat to ensure optimal breeding success which includes water temperature regulation, easy access to both wet and dry areas, and heat coils in the sand for laying eggs.
“These hatchlings will introduce a new bloodline and diversify the gene pool among gharials in professional care,” the zoo said.
The zoo said there are only around 200 adults remaining in the wild that are able to reproduce, with only 35 living among nine institutions nationwide.
For more information on the gharial crocodile, visit fortworthzoo.org.