Tiny West African dwarf crocodiles hatch at San Diego Zoo. Rough cut - No reporter narration
ROUGHCUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: They may not be as cute as pandas, but a clutch of baby West African dwarf crocodiles, the smallest known species of crocodile, began hatching on Monday (Nov. 6) at the San Diego Zoo in California. Three baby crocs successfully hatched on their own, keepers assisted a fourth one in hatching, and more were expected to emerge from their eggs over the next several hours. The new hatchlings are being cared for by the reptile staff at the zoo. To ensure their survival, the staff collected the eggs and carefully incubated them at 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees celsius). It will take a coupe of days to determine the gender of the new babies, according to zoo staff. The sex of baby crocodiles is dependent on egg incubation temperatures, with higher temperatures required to hatch males. West African dwarf crocodiles are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There is little data currently available on this species in the wild, however, San Diego Zoo Global is supporting survey research in their native range to better understand the status of West African dwarf crocs.