LIFESTYLE

Five Cuban crocodiles in danger of extinction successfully hatch in D.C.

Who would’ve thought crocodiles could this cute? 

Dorothy, a 57-year-old crocodile that belongs to an endangered Cuban species, hatched between July 29 and August 7 — bringing five cute baby crocs to the world.

The eggs were laid on May 12 in a hole nest at the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center in Washington D.C.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Cuban crocodiles as critically endangered due to hybridization, illegal hunting and habitat loss with only two possible swamps left in Cuba.

The Cuban crocodile, a small to mid-sized reptile, is more colorful, rougher, more 'pebbled' scales than other crocodilians, and has long, strong legs. Typical adults measure 6.9–7.5 ft in length and weigh between 150 and 180 lb.

According to Smithsonian Science News, Dorothy laid a clutch of 24 eggs in a hole nest, which keepers detected after a week of searching the exhibit. They found 10 fertile eggs and moved them to an incubator — half of those fertile eggs continued to develop during the entire gestation period.

Dorothy's hatchlings are less than a foot long but could easily reach 10.5 feet long when they become fully grown.

The Reptile Discovery Center’s keepers are caring for the baby crocodiles while Dorothy is back on display for guests along with her three other adult comrades: Blanche, Rose and Jefe.

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