1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Close up of crocodile being held in a hand
Jacquelyn Martin  /  AP
A supervisory biologist at the National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center holds a 13-day-old Cuban crocodile hatchling, one of two crocodiles hatched from surprise eggs.
By
updated 7/20/2012 2:21:19 PM ET 2012-07-20T18:21:19

Two endangered Cuban crocodiles have hatched at the National Zoo in Washington.

The hatchings are considered genetically valuable because their mother, Dorothy, was caught in the wild. Dorothy is thought to be 55 years old and zookeepers figured she had stopped laying eggs years ago.

Bouncing baby giraffe already stands 6 feet tall

But when they discovered she had laid eggs, they took great care to incubate them for months. Only two of the eggs hatched successfully, the first Cuban crocs to do so at the zoo in nearly 25 years.

Scientists believe there are fewer than 6,000 Cuban crocs remaining in the wild in two small areas of Cuba.

Story: Dog survives 5-story fall from Miami drawbridge

U.S. zoos are trying to expand the population, though births are rare. There have been a handful of hatchings in Florida and Kentucky zoos.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Baby red panda tries to follow the light

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Only enough for one: Experimental serum used on US Ebola patient

    A dose of “experimental serum” arrived in Liberia to be tried on a U.S. charity worker struggling for her life — but there was only enough for one of the two infected workers.

    7/31/2014 4:20:32 PM +00:00 2014-07-31T16:20:32
  1. See this hardworking mom of 4 and Army vet get the makeover she deserves!

    Tara Green, a mother of four who’s planning to start her first job since leaving the Army 15 years ago, was hoping a makeover would give her the new professional look she needs.

    7/31/2014 4:49:33 PM +00:00 2014-07-31T16:49:33