APRIL 24, 2013

Valley sanctuary receives endangered Orinoco Crocodiles

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Orinoco crocodiles (Crocodylus intermedius) are critically endangered, with less than 600 living in the wild.  They are found in freshwater in Columbia, Venezuela, northern South America, in particular the Orinoco River. Phoenix Herpatological Society (PHS) recently received 2 females, between 5-6 years old, approximately 6-feet in length, from the Dallas World Aquarium (DWA).  They are a part of a group of 30 crocodiles at DWA where the director personally selected PHS to be the recipient (one of only 4 organizations on the U.S. permitted to exhibit these crocodiles) based on photos of the sanctuary, and the fact that PHS has a successful education program in place for endangered species.  DWA has several current conservation reintroduction programs and has added over 100 Orinoco hatchings to the wild in their natural habitat.

orinoco crocodileThe crocodiles were released into a newly constructed pond enclosure and are now on public display.  With this addition, PHS will have 19 of the 23 recognized crocodilian species in the U.S. with a total number of 61 (alligators: 11; caiman: 16, crocodiles: 34).

Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of rescued reptiles and educating the public about living with these amazing creatures. PHS was founded in 2001, and operates a sanctuary on more than two acres of privately owned land in north Scottsdale. PHS is home to nearly 1500 native and exotic reptiles, many of them endangered and participants in captive breeding repopulation programs.  The sanctuary offers unique opportunities to get close to and, in some cases, interact with snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises from the Desert Southwest and around the world.