Croc-breeding programme a complete success for Melaka sanctuary despite MCO

MELAKA: A group of local conservationists have had a 100% success rate in one of their crocodile-breeding programmes despite facing financial hardship due to the movement control order (MCO).

Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary's managing director Gerard Wong Woon See said the success in breeding the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman Crocodilus), a native American species, was extremely exciting for his team despite the sanctuary experiencing severely-reduced revenue due to a lack of paying visitors.

"We are in dire straits with no income to sustain our professional researchers and will probably be forced to retrench if the situation continues to worsen.

"The successful hatching rate of the species has renewed our hope to gain support from locals to visit our sanctuary and donate to our breeding programmes," he said here on Wednesday (Nov 18).

Wong said the eggs were collected on Sept 3 from a female crocodile in the sanctuary.

"We collected 19 eggs and all of them hatched after a 84-day incubation period.

"Previously, our hatching rate was only at 20%," he said.

Wong noted that the Spectacled Caiman is found throughout the American continent.

The species, he said, has a spectacles-like ridge between its eyes, where it gets its common name from.

The species can grow up to 2.5m and weigh between seven to 40kg each, he said.

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