US

5 endangered Cuban crocodiles hatch at National Zoo in DC, Smithsonian officials announce

This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo shows five critically endangered Cuban crocodiles hatched at the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center between July 29 and Aug. 7. The eggs were laid by Dorothy, a 57-year-old genetically valuable crocodile.  (Smithsonian’s National Zoo/Amy Enchelmeyer via AP)

This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo shows five critically endangered Cuban crocodiles hatched at the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center between July 29 and Aug. 7. The eggs were laid by Dorothy, a 57-year-old genetically valuable crocodile. (Smithsonian’s National Zoo/Amy Enchelmeyer via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Smithsonian officials say five critically endangered Cuban crocodiles have hatched at the National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center.

Officials said Wednesday that the crocodiles hatched between July 29 and Aug. 7. Officials say the crocodiles' mother, Dorothy, laid 24 eggs May 12, and 10 were fertile. Officials say those were moved to an incubator, and half of the eggs developed during the entire gestation period.

Officials say crocodile embryos develop into a male or female crocodiles depending on the incubating temperature of the eggs. Keepers kept the eggs at a temperature range to hatch males as part of a survival plan for the species, but it is too early to definitively determine the crocodiles' sex.

Cuban crocodiles are found only in two swamps in Cuba.