A nest of 20 critically endangered Siamese crocodile eggs were found in the wild in Southeast Asia, and delivered to the care of keepers at Lao Zoo near Vientiane. They were hatched and are being raised in hopes of helping the population grow. There they will live until they are 18 months old, when they will be released back into the wild. Experts estimate there are as few as 300 Siamese crocodiles left in the world, so this hatching of 20 individuals is a significant addition to that total.
The clutch of eggs was found in June in Savannakhet by a team of local villagers. They were trained by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and are engaged in trying to save the species in Laos.
"We're thrilled at the prospect of augmenting the wild population of Siamese crocodiles with a new batch of healthy juveniles," Chris Hallam, the WCS crocodile project coordinator, said.
Photo Credits: M.Douangmyxay/ WCN Laos Program
Siamese crocodiles(Crocodylus siamensis) grow up to 10 feet long (3 meters) but are generally docile. That trait only makes them easier to hunt. In recent decades, the species has been preyed upon for its soft skin and meat. leading to it's dire status.