ATLANTA – An extremely rare lizard has hatched at Atlanta's zoo.
The Guatemalan beaded lizard began hatching Monday. The hatchling is one of only seven known to have been born in captivity worldwide.
Zoo Atlanta currently has the country's only zoological collection of Guatemalan beaded lizards. It's only the second institution to successfully reproduce the species. Six others were hatched at the San Diego Zoo in 2004 and 2006.
These lizards are found only in the Motagua Valley in Guatemala and may number fewer than 200 in the wild. The species has faced challenges because of habitat loss and illegal trade. It also suffers from long-held popular myths that it had nefarious powers.
Zoo Atlanta partners with Zootropic, a nonprofit in Guatemala, on Project Heloderma to help protect the lizards.