Hatchlings of endangered crocodile species found in Cambodia

Cambodia Crocodiles
Posted at 10:23 AM, Sep 22, 2021

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Eight hatchlings from one of the world’s rarest crocodile species have been found in a wildlife sanctuary in eastern Cambodia.

The baby Siamese crocodiles were found in a river by conservationists who went searching for them after finding footprints and dung.

Cambodia Crocodiles
In this image released by Cambodian Environment Ministry and WWF, a Siamese crocodile swims in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary of Cambodia's Eastern Plains, Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, on Sept. 13, 2021. (Cambodian Environment Ministry and WWF via AP)

The species was once widespread across Southeast Asia but is now critically endangered.

Cambodia’s Environment Ministry and the World Wildlife Fund have been searching for photographic evidence of a breeding population in the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary for more than a decade.

They say rangers are now guarding the habitat area.

It’s believed only about 400 Siamese crocodiles remain in the wild, with most of them in Cambodia.

Environment Minister Say Samal told The Associated Press that the discovery is “such rewarding news,” and Milou Groenenberg of WWF called it “a significant finding for the species in Cambodia and globally.”