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Introducing African slender-snouted crocodiles

Critically endangered species is new to Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience.

Zoo Atlanta welcomes two exciting new arrivals to the award-winning Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience. Two African slender-snouted crocodiles arrived on February 13, 2018, and may be seen exploring their new habitat starting Friday, February 16.

“We’re always excited about the debut of a new species, but we have an even greater opportunity to raise public awareness when we introduce a critically endangered species,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “We look forward to introducing visitors not only to the beauty, behavior and adaptations of these amazing animals, but also to the very real threats now facing them and many others in the wild, combined with the actions we can all take now to preserve and protect species worldwide.”

African slender-snouted crocodiles are found in western tropical Africa, from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru west to the Gambia River. Their most serious threats are hunting for skins and the bushmeat trade; conflict with humans in fishing areas; and habitat alteration for agriculture.

The crocodiles, both male, are on loan from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida, and will live in Scaly Slimy Spectacular’s largest habitat, which has been updated to include new features for both the crocodiles and their human visitors. The dynamic space, which provides opportunities for the crocodiles to bask and swim, also features new and different viewing opportunities for observation of the animals and their feeding times.

Named for their notably slender snouts, African slender-snouted crocodiles have olive-colored skin overlaid with patterns of dark-brown blotches. Both of the Zoo’s new arrivals are still growing so have not yet reached their full adult length, which averages around 9 feet and may reach up to 13 feet.

Scaly Slimy Spectacular is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian complex. The destination features habitats designed to replicate some of the planet’s most iconic wild places, from the crocodiles’ new tropical African pool to the Australian billabong to Georgia’s own tidal creeks. Scaly Slimy Spectacular is a largely indoor experience that is climate-controlled year round.

The new crocodile habitat was inhabited by four American alligators when Scaly Slimy Spectacular opened in 2015. The alligators, who were also on loan from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, returned to St. Augustine in November 2017.

Scaly Slimy Spectacular will be open on Friday for visitors’ first opportunities to spot the new crocodiles. African slender-snouted crocodiles are naturally shy, and as the new crocodiles are still exploring their new home, there is not yet a guarantee of seeing them. Visit here to learn more about Scaly Slimy Spectacular. Plan a visit itinerary here, and learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s work to protect endangered and threatened species.

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