21 February 2014

Four new arrivals late yesterday and one overnight have created great excitement in the Reptile House!

Tiny hatchlings of the world’s most endangered crocodilian species have been emerging from their eggs in their temperature-controlled incubator.

There are still another ten eggs to go!

Melbourne Zoo is the first zoo in Australia and one of very few zoos worldwide to succeed in breeding the species.

The wild population of Philippines Crocodiles is believed to number no more than 200 adults.

Zoo Director Kevin Tanner regards this breeding success as a major milestone in the Zoo’s longterm work to support the recovery program for this extremely endangered species.

He has recently returned from visiting the Zoo’s conservation partners in the Philippines, where he participated in the release of 12 young crocodiles born in the breeding facility there.

Chris Banks manages Zoos Victoria’s overseas conservation partnerships, and has been a major supporter of the recovery program for 20 years, working with government and conservation bodies to bring Philippines Crocodiles back from the brink.

Philippines Crocodile conservation initiatives will be highlighted in the Zoo’s next major project, the Predator development, which will also be a new home for African Lions and Wild Dogs.

The species will be on view in the Predator Learning Centre, an integral part of the new development, which is due to open next summer.

The Zoos Victoria Foundation is fundraising for the Learning Centre construction, with the assistance of a generous dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Yulgilbar Foundation.

The Yulgilbar Foundation will donate a dollar for every dollar up to $400,000 donated by other sources, and the Zoos Victoria Foundation is seeking another $60,000 to fully fund the learning centre.

To donate, please call (03) 9340 2770 or email zvfoundation@zoo.org.au for more details.

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