40 young crocodiles released into the wild in Nepal (VIDEO)


Forty young crocodiles were released back into the wild in Nepal on Wednesday, as part of the Chitwan National Park breeding center's efforts to save the species. 

The breeding center has been trying to boost the Gharial crocodile population for the past six years, BBC News reported.

The Gharial crocodile species has been dwindling because of hunting and a loss of their natural habitat, according to the BBC, and is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

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The center has two male crocodiles and 13 females, which they attempt to breed, in addition to collecting eggs from around the region. The crocodiles, which grow to be between 4 and 7 meters (or 13 to 23 feet), are raised in artificial ponds. They also have their teeth brushed frequently to help prevent fungus growth, according to the BBC. The Gharial are distinguished by their long snouts, which have a bulbous tip. 

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When they reach about 6 years old, they can be released into various streams and rivers throughout Chitwan, ITN reported. The breeding center is also a tourist attraction, according to the BBC. 

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