Rare Chinese alligators sent to China
Wildlife Conservation Society
May 17, 2006
BALANCING THE U.S.-CHINA TRADE DEFICIT — WITH ALLIGATORS
A dozen rare Chinese alligators, born and raised in the U.S., are shipped to China
The U.S. made a slight dent in the trade deficit today when a dozen rare Chinese Alligators were shipped from the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) headquarters at the Bronx Zoo directly to China, as part of an international effort to restore populations of these highly endangered reptiles.
"We are delighted that the Chinese Government will receive these 12 alligators in an effort to help bolster numbers of the critically endangered species" said WCS conservationist Dr. John Thorbjarnarson, who is helping oversee the program. "Given the chance, these animals will grow in number and roam in areas where they haven't been seen in many years."
The Chinese alligator is just one of two alligator species in the world. Unlike the American alligator, which has increased in numbers due to conservation efforts, Chinese alligators have been virtually eliminated from their native habitat in China due to conversion of wetlands for agriculture over the past several thousand years. Perhaps a few dozen remain in the wild.
Chinese Alligator. Julie Maher/WCS
Chinese alligators are relatively secretive animals, feeding on small fish and aquatic birds. They are not known to attack people.
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This is a modified news release from the Wildlife Conservation Society.