A Texas zoo has just made history.
After welcoming a group of very rare, baby reptiles, the Fort Worth Zoo has just welcomed a total of four gharial crocodiles!
After attempting to breed the critically endangered species for more than a decade, the Fort Worth Zoo is the first to produce multiple offspring of the reptiles in U.S. history.
A big round of applause for the Fort Worth Zoo!
As of today, only 35 individual gharials crocs are living among nine institutions in North America and according to the zoo, around only 200 reproducing adults remain in the wild.
Today, gharial crocodiles remain only in the wild in Nepal and northern India, not to mention the species was also close to becoming extinct in the 1970s.
So what is the species’ biggest threat?
Habitat loss from salt mining, pollution, and river fragmentation.
In an effort to help multiply the species, the gharial habitat in the zoo’s herpetarium, (the Museum of Living Art) was crafted specifically for the reptiles years ago according to the zoo.
A few key factors included in the Museum of Living Art for optimal breeding success are water temperature regulation, angled waterfront, heat coils in the sand, etc.
Now while the baby gharials might be adorably small now, these specific crocodiles can grow up to 16 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds!
Although for now, the baby gharial crocodiles will be living behind the scenes so zoo staff can closely monitor their growth and development.
“We are so proud of our ectotherms team for this historic achievement!” the zoo wrote on Facebook.Fort Worth Zoo