London has welcomed the UK’s first ever clutch of Philippines crocodiles.
The 6 crocodiles were hatched over a 48 hour period. The first crocodile emerged on the 16th of June weighing in at just 37 grams.
Iri Gill, the deputy head of the reptile house at London Zoo said, ‘The arrival of these six Philippine crocodiles at ZSL London Zoo is a massive cause for celebration for us, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.’
The baby’s names have been inspired by the islands that make up the Philippines. They have been named, Jolo, Luzon, Mindoro, Sulo, Samar, Mindanao
Gill added that they take after their parents, ‘currently they measure just 24cms long and looking like perfect miniature models of their parents, the yet to be sexed hatchlings will eventually grow up to three metres in length.’
The parents of these crocodiles were genetically matched at a breeding centre in the Philippines before at arriving at the zoo. This means that they are a large cause for celebration as they are incredibly diverse in terms of their genetics.
Gill said, ‘Not only are these crocodiles the first of their kind to ever be bred in a UK zoo, but they are also a fantastic addition to the European breeding programme – and we can now use our experience to help other zoos breed these Critically Endangered animals’
This means will be important to the UK breeding program which aims to help save the species which the IUCN lists as critically endangered. They are currently hunted for their skins and threatened by habitat loss.
Photo Credit-London Zoo