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Wednesday April 25, 2007

Endangered croc to meet mate


MALACCA: A mature male crocodile of the endangered Gharial species will be meeting mating partners in a “matchmaking” session soon. 

The 4.7m crocodile, scientifically named Tomistoma schelegelii, or as the Malacca Zoo personnel call it – Jantan – was transported from the Malacca Zoo on Monday to the Perhilitan Wildlife Breeding Centre in Sungai Dusun, Selangor. 

The operation to transport the 470kg reptile took almost eight hours.  

Perhilitan veterinarian Abraham Mathew said that at the centre Jantan would be paired with four female crocodiles of the same species in a habitat very much like its natural one or it would not breed. 

“There are some 2,000 crocodiles of this species left in South-east Asia and studies are still being conducted as to why it's breeding is so difficult,” said Mathew, adding that most of the crocodiles were found in Sarawak, Kalimantan and Sumatra. 

Jantan was brought to the zoo from Tanjung Karang in 1995, and is believed to be 25-years-old.  

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