Photo: Rare Crocs Once Owned by Fidel Castro Give Birth in Sweden
Sweden is now the home of baby crocodiles from the rarest breed in the world.
Once owned by Fidel Castro, Cuban crocodiles at Sweden’s Skansen zoo in Stockholm laid eggs which hatched into 16 baby crocs last week.
Jonas Wahlstrom, the director of the aquarium at the zoo called the Cuban crocs “the rarest” and “most beautiful crocodile species in the world.”
It is believed that only a few hundred still exist in the world, with very few existing in the wild.
Castro reportedly gave the croc parents to a Russian cosmonaut in 1977 when he was still the leader of Cuba. When the crocodiles grew too large, they were donated to the Moscow zoo. One year after their arrival, the zoo was remodeled and the Cuban crocs were smuggled into Sweden in Wahlstrom’s luggage.
The Swedish zoo is said to be the only in the only in the world that breed this rare species.
Interestingly, the U.S. has shown great interest in the crocodiles, but the babies are the only ones that can be sent to the states, as the parents are “Cuban-made” and cannot be sent to the U.S. due to the embargo.
The new crocs can be viewed in Stockholm for now, but will be sent to various zoos around the world after 6 months.
According to Sweden’s The Local, “the Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is an endangered species that typically grows to around three metres. They are only known to exist in the wild in Cuba’s Zapata Swamp and the Isle of Youth.”