• Sweden edition
 
World's rarest crocodiles hatched in Swedish zoo

World's rarest crocodiles hatched in Swedish zoo

Published: 24 Aug 2012 10:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2012 10:42 GMT+02:00

“They’re the rarest, and I must say, the most beautiful crocodile species in the world,” Jonas Wahlström, the director of the aquarium at the Skansen Zoo in Stockholm, told The Local.

Skansen is the only zoo in the world that breeds the crocodiles, and only a few hundred are known to exist in the wild in Cuba, according to Wahlström.

However, the road from Cuba to Stockholm was no ordinary trip for the reptile pair.

“The mother and the father, who we call Castro and Hilary, were given as gifts by Fidel Castro in 1977 to a Russian cosmonaut. It was a gesture of goodwill, but soon the crocodiles grew too big for the cosmonaut’s apartment,” Wahlström explained.

“And I don’t think his wife wanted crocodiles in the bathtub anymore.”

Soon, the pair of metre-long reptiles was given to the Moscow zoo, an establishment that Wahlström frequented often in the 1980s.

“The zoo was remodeling one year when I was there, and I was given the crocodiles to take back to Stockholm.”

“I carried them in my hand luggage, but this was no problem at the time, as it was the Soviet Union and a few coloured postcards and pens could get you anything.”

Back in Stockholm, the zoo began to breed the crocodiles yearly, exporting the offspring to other wildlife parks around the world.

“US zoos are especially keen on having the crocs, but it’s funny, we can’t send their parents over there because of the trade embargo - they were made in Cuba.”

“Communist crocs are unwelcome over there, but our Swedish-born conservative crocs have been sent to the US many times,” Wahlström said with a laugh.

Animal enthusiasts who are eager to see the litter for themselves can visit the nursery where the crocodiles will be on display for the next six months, before they are all shipped off to zoos around the world.

The Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is an endangered species that typically grows to around three metres. They are only known to exist in the wild in Cuba's Zapata Swamp and the Isle of Youth.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:37 August 24, 2012 by Johno
Born ? Now that is really rare ! All other species are hatched !
15:43 August 24, 2012 by The Local
Good point - thanks! Article now changed accordingly.
16:32 August 24, 2012 by Johno
Only a small point. Hallands Posten has had small birds "being born" this year to my recall. The Swedish kläckas, to hatch, I had to look up !
00:53 August 25, 2012 by Cephalectomy
#1 well said :D
Today's headlines
Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

Sweden reports suspected case of Ebola
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden reports suspected case of Ebola

Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. READ  

Flash floods cause chaos in southern Sweden
A car in Malmö on Sunday. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Flash floods cause chaos in southern Sweden

The Skåne region of southern Sweden was hit suddenly by extreme rains on Sunday morning, with houses flooded, buses evacuated, and people having to swim to safety from their cars. READ  

Fit-again Ibrahimovic set for PSG return
Photo: TT

Fit-again Ibrahimovic set for PSG return

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to make his comeback for Paris Saint-Germain against Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday after two weeks on the sidelines with an abdominal muscle injury. READ  

Military raises readiness level over Ukraine
Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan. File photo: Magnus Lindstedt/Armed Forces

Military raises readiness level over Ukraine

The Swedish military said Saturday it had increased intelligence gathering and called in extra staff to its headquarters over the crisis in Ukraine, as the prime minister compared Russia's current behaviour with the Cold War. READ  

Police injured in anti-Nazi protest in Stockholm
Police and demonstrators on Saturday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Police injured in anti-Nazi protest in Stockholm

Swedish police said three officers were injured Saturday as they faced a crowd of thousands protesting against a neo-Nazi rally in central Stockholm. READ  

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake

A boy scheduled to be vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella instead received a vaccine against cervical cancer. His family has now reported the blunder for inspection. READ  

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency
Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency

The Swedish government has announced that it will increase funding to the jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in 2015, primarily to cover personnel costs but also to prevent long-term unemployment. READ  

Police 'powerless' against street racers
Police on E4 highway. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police 'powerless' against street racers

Stockholm police said they were powerless to react when streetracers took over at "insane speeds" on a large highway on Friday night. READ  

Saab carmaker wins receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker wins receivership

After initial rejection, a Chinese-owned company set up to take over Saab's assets after the troubled Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy said on Friday it had succeeded in being placed in receivership. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

732
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se