A group of eight slender-snouted crocodilians have arrived at the Bronx Zoo.
The animals are called Indian gharials, and the Bronx Zoo is displaying them for the first time since 1992 at the river habitat in JungleWorld.
Courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies the species as critically endangered, and their last stronghold is in the Chambal River in India, where 80 percent of the remaining population lives, according to the Bronx Zoo.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, has supported efforts to protect gharials since the 1970s and sponsors a program called the Gharial Telemetry Project, which has identified key areas where the animals can feed, nest and breed.
Studying and protecting gharials in the Chambal River has also helped scientists understand the threats facing the species, according to the Bronx Zoo.
“As people watch the gharials swim, bask, and interact with each other, we hope they will enhance the visitor experience and raise awareness of the dire conservation needs of this species in the wild,” Bronx Zoo Herpetology Curator Don Boyer said in a statement.