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Newly-hatched Siamese crocodiles at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center. Wildlife Conservation Society

Endangered croc eggs hatch

Nine critically endangered Siamese crocodiles emerged from their eggs on Friday, with more expected to hatch soon, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced yesterday.

The nine eggs, which hatched at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center, were among 19 discovered in a nest in late June in Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel district.

The remaining 10 eggs are still being monitored, and a few more are expected to hatch in the coming days, said WCS Communications Officer Eng Mengey.

“It was the first nest recorded in the Sre Ambel River system” in the last 10 years, he said. In 1992, the species was reported as ‘virtually extinct in the wild’, and it has been listed as critically endangered since 1996, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population of the species is ‘declining at an alarming rate’, according to a statement from the WCS.

“The total population is around 410 wild adults, of which 100 to 300 live in Cambodia, making it the most important country for the conservation of this species.”

The crocodiles will be housed at the centre until they are old enough to survive in the wild. Threats to the species’ survival include illegal hunting, degradation, decrease of natural food supply and weak law enforcement, according to the statement. They are mainly found in remote parts of southwest and northeast Cambodia.

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