Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Rare crocodiles hatched in Laos zoo

A baby Siam crocodile is held after it hatched from an egg at a zoo in Laos (AP/Wildlife Conservation Society)

Endangered Siam crocodiles have hatched in a zoo in Laos and will be released into the wild once they are old enough to fend for themselves, environmentalists have said.

Chris Hallam, of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, said the 20 baby crocodiles hatched last week from eggs found in a lake in southern Laos.

The eggs were taken to the zoo for protection.

They will be released in 18 months to join the estimated 300 of their species living in the wilds of south-east Asia.

Siam crocodiles are a critically endangered species. They can grow up to 10ft (3m) long but are generally docile.

Their passive nature made it all the easier to hunt them by the thousands in recent decades.

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