CUBAN CROCODILES FIND NEW HOME AT SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM
The SEA LIFE London Aquarium has become the only UK home to a pair of the world's rarest reptiles, as two critically endangered Cuban Crocodiles settle into a wetland habitat at the attraction. The arrival of the pair of first generation captive-bred females from a Denmark zoo marks the beginning of an important new research and breeding programme to help protect the decimated species.
Only a few thousand Cuban Crocodiles remain in the wild living in just two swamps, and the newly arrived females are among a mere handful in captivity in Europe. Once they have settled into their new home at the London Aquarium the team plan to introduce a male with the intention of continuing breeding as part of an international programme to protect the survival of these critically endangered creatures.
"These creatures have been hunted to the point of extinction and we have an exciting opportunity to understand them better and help protect them" commented Paul Hale, Head Curator at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. "They have highly evolved senses and are undoubtedly unique in the crocodile world. We want to research their behaviour more thoroughly and also raise awareness of the threats faced by endangered aquatic species and habitats throughout the world."
The experts at the London Aquarium will be monitoring the creatures' behaviour closely in a bid to understand more about their reportedly high intelligence levels and behaviour. Despite only growing to a length of around 3.5m, Cubans are amongst the most dangerous of crocodile species and are notorious for their unique ability to leap out of the water in pursuit of their prey.
The crocodiles will join a host of other creatures including Poison Arrow Frogs and Piranha Fish in the Rainforests of the World area at the aquarium, and guests will be able to learn more about these fascinating creatures through family friendly talks.