WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Zoo Hatches A Pair Of Cuban Crocodiles

Play associated audio
A baby Cuban crocodile pushes its way out of the egg.
Barbara Watkins/Smithsonian's National Zoo
A baby Cuban crocodile pushes its way out of the egg.

For the first time in nearly 25 years, the National Zoo has hatched critically endangered Cuban crocodiles.

Two baby males hatched this month after scientists kept their eggs in incubators for months. So far, they seem healthy and are nipping at their handlers.

Scientists believe there are fewer than 4,000 Cuban crocodiles remaining in the wild in two small areas of Cuba, as pressures from hunting and hybridization with American crocodiles has rendered them critically endangered. U.S. zoos are trying to expand the population, though births are rare. There have been a handful of hatchings in Florida and Kentucky zoos. The National Zoo last hatched some in 1988.

The newest hatchlings are considered genetically valuable because the mother, Dorothy, was caught in the wild. She hasn't produced offspring before. Scientists believe she is 55 years old and thought she stopped laying eggs years ago.

NPR

The New Science Behind Our 'Unfair' Criminal Justice System

"Good people with the best of intentions ... can get things terribly, terribly wrong," says legal scholar Adam Benforado. His book, Unfair, explores the intrinsic flaws of the American justice system.
NPR

Mechanization Brings Quick Change To Borneo Region Known For 'Slow Rice'

A company is introducing mechanized rice farming to the interior of Malaysian Borneo for the first time. Scientists say the change may damage the bonds between the local people and their environment.
NPR

Obama To Meet With Vietnam's Communist Party Chief Amid Concern Over China

Hanoi and Washington hope to strengthen economic and defense ties, especially in the wake of Beijing's construction on a disputed reef in the South China Sea.
NPR

Reddit CEO Apologizes Days After User Revolt Over Firing Of Popular Figure

Ellen Pao said the company had "screwed up" not only in the way it handled the dismissal of Victoria Taylor, the key figure in the r/IAmA section, but "also over the past several years."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.