After 90 days of incubation, the auspicious movement of crocodile eggs the past few days heralded the hatching of the first baby croc at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall.
The Aquarium and Underwater Zoo have dubbed the parents Queen Croc, an 80 year-old behemoth, and King Croc, her companion for the past 20 years,
More baby crocodiles are expected to hatch in the next few days.
In an unusual display for her age, Queen Croc demonstrated nest-building behaviour at precisely the same time as wild crocodiles in Australia. She laid 59 eggs. Over the three month incubation period, many of the eggs stopped developing and only 24 remain in the incubators. Caretakers attribute this to the age of Queen Croc and her decreasing reproductive capability.
In the wild, typically, nearly 90 per cent of all baby crocodiles struggle to survive, evading natural predators such as large fish and monitor lizards.
Officials at the Dubai Aquarium said King Croc has been a dedicated partner for the past 20 years, showing little interest in any other females.
“The successful hatching of the baby croc highlights the conducive environment that Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo offers to King Croc and his companion, and how effortlessly they have adapted to their home in Dubai,” said Paul Hamilton, general manager and curator at the aquarium.
The facility has been approved by the Ministry of Education for school visits as part of the curriculum.
“As one of the most popular attractions in the city, the expansion of their family will further add to the appeal of visitors, who can gain unique insights on crocodiles,” Mr Hamilton said.