Cambodia – Conservationists in Cambodia are celebrating the hatching of a clutch of eggs from one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, the Siamese crocodile.Thirteen infants crawled out of their shells over the weekend in a remote part of the Cardamom Mountains in southwestern Cambodia, following a weekslong vigil by researchers who found them in the jungle.
Experts believe as few as 250 Siamese crocodiles are left in the wild, almost all of them in Cambodia but with a few spread between Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and possibly Thailand.The operation to protect and hatch the eggs was mounted by United Kingdom-based Fauna and Flora International, for whom conservation of this once-abundant species is a key program.
“Every nest counts,” program manager Adam Starr told Associated Press Television News. “To be able to find a nest is a very big success story, to be able to hatch eggs properly is an even bigger success story.”The nest, with 22 eggs inside, was discovered in the isolated Areng Valley. Fauna and Flora International volunteers removed 15 of them to a safe site and incubated them in a compost heap to replicate the original nest. They left seven behind because they appeared to be unfertilized.