Phoenix Herpetological Society To House 10 Freshwater Crocodiles

By Annika Cline
Published: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 4:19pm
Updated: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 9:09pm
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(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Herpetological Society)
One of the baby freshwater crocodiles clearing customs in Atlanta.

The Phoenix Herpetological Society will soon be home to 10 freshwater crocodiles, a rarity in the United States.

The crocs are flying to Phoenix, soon to complete a long journey from the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany.

Nicknamed freshies, these crocs can run at speeds up to 18 miles per hour and their sharp teeth are nothing to mess with. But that hasn’t stopped them from becoming a threatened species due to hunting and other reasons.

Russ Johnson, president of Phoenix Herpetological Society, said that on top of that, the crocs have seldom been imported into the U.S. So when the reptile sanctuary learned that the Frankfurt Zoo bred a surplus of these crocs, Johnson said they took the lot.

"And so we’re excited because this will give us a chance to grow these up and possibly produce some of these which would make them available for zoos across the United States," Johnson said.

The sanctuary will house the freshies in a climate-controlled enclosure, where they’ll grow from 20-inch babies to 5-foot-long adults. But they’ll be small for a while, Johnson said.

"They’re very slow growers," he said. "So right now there’s the cute factor."

The crocodiles will be on display on Monday, or you can attend the Phoenix Herpetological Society’s Twilight Croc Walk on May 16.

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