Baby Cuban crocodiles at Skansen. Photo: TT
Cuban crocodiles born at the zoo at Skansen, Stockholm, are being flown to Cuba, to help the country's efforts to re-establish the species in the wild. The move has emerged days after Skansen revealed that Saudi Arabia had denied visas for four Swedish-born monkeys.
Skansen has bred Cuban crocodiles for three decades and more than a dozen babies are born at the zoo each year and transferred to other zoos around the world.
Now officials in the creatures' native land are hoping to reintroduce the rare animals back into their natural habitat.
Director of Skansen's aquarium Jonas Wahlström is scheduled to fly from Sweden to the Cuban capital, Havana, in ten days' time, accompanied by ten of the snappy reptiles, according to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
The animal is the world's rarest species of crocodile and only exists in the wild in a small swampy area in southern Cuba.
Shorter and thinner than other similar kinds of animal, Cuban crocodiles are nevertheless aggressive creatures known for their strong legs and brighter, rougher scales. They usually grow to around two metres long.
There are no reports of visa problems for the animals, unlike four monkeys
from Skansen, who have made global headlines this week.
The furry pygmy marmosets were set to be transferred to Riyadh, but the plan has been scrapped as a diplomatic row between Sweden and Saudi Arabia continues.
“They didn't want any monkeys any more because of the political situation,” Jonas Wahlström, told The Local
Skansen is the world's first open-air museum, founded in 1891. The zoo area of the attraction is home to about 200 rare and exotic animal species.