Monday, 15 June 2015

Rare freshwater crocs arrive at Phoenix Herpetological Society - via Herp Digest

May 11, 2015 Steve Stout,

Scottsdale, AZ -- The Phoenix Herpetological Society will sport more of a Down Under look after 10 Australian freshwater crocodiles arrived in Arizona on Friday.
The crocodiles reached their new home from Zoo Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, PHS officials said.
The "freshies" are rarely seen on exhibit in the United States, and arrived in Phoenix as part of a breeding program, officials said.
PHS currently has one female "freshie" on exhibit from the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels, TX.
"The freshwater croc is seldom seen in zoos in the U.S., and it is our goal to produce babies and make them available for zoos that wish to display them," PHS President Russ Johnson said.
The new crocs are 1 and 2 years old. They flew from Frankfurt to Atlanta, where they were cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Friday morning. They were flown from Atlanta to Phoenix on a nonstop Southwest Airlines flight.
Visitors to PHS can now see 21 of the world's 24 species of crocodilians, which include crocodiles, alligators and caimans.
Here are some freshwater crocodile facts:
Freshwater crocs (or "freshies") are native to Australia and are primarily found in freshwater lakes, rivers and wetlands.
They are gray or olive-brown with darker mottling or bands on the upper body, tail and sometimes on the snout.
The species was previously at risk of extinction because crocs were hunted for their skins.
The species has made a comeback due to conservation.
Equally fast on land or water, freshwater crocodiles can gallop at speeds of up to 18 mph.
Freshwater crocodiles have strong legs, clawed webbed feet and powerful tails.
Although generally not dangerous to humans, they can inflict serious injury with their sharp teeth.
"PHS has the second-largest Crocodilian collection in the United States," notes Johnson. "When our freshwater crocs are not participating in the breeding program, they will be utilized for education, especially during open house events and facility tours of the PHS sanctuary. "

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