Last week, Zoo Miami's pair of endangered Cuban crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) were sedated after a report from patrons that a plastic bottle fell
Last week, Zoo Miami’s pair of endangered Cuban crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) were sedated after a report from patrons that a plastic bottle fell into their enclosure, but when staff members went to retrieve the bottle, they couldn’t find it. So staff brought the reptiles to the zoo’s animal hospital for radiographs out of an abundance of caution that one had ingested the bottle.
The radiographs showed that the crocodiles did not ingest the bottle, but did show some foreign objects deemed small enough for them to safely pass through the digestive tracts. The radiograph showed what appeared to be a bottle cap in the female, named Princess. An endoscope was used to examine the male, named Leroy. Nothing of significance was found, the zoo wrote on its Facebook page. In 2019, Leroy did have to have gastric surgery to remove a metal can that he ingested, and Princess had a plastic baby bottle removed with an endoscope, the zoo wrote.
The zoo has documented a variety of objects that were ingested by animals at the zoo, ranging from sun glasses to cell phones. When these objects are found in the enclosures, regardless of how they got there, they pose a threat to the animals if they are ingested, the zoo wrote. “We ask that when visiting the zoo, please ensure that all personal items are secure to prevent them from ending up in habitats where they can be extremely harmful to the animals.”
Cuban Crocodile Information
The Cuban crocodile is a critically endangered species that is known to live in just two areas of Cuba, the Zapata Swamp in the mainland’s northwest area and the Lanier Swamp on Juventud Island. Threats to this reptile include hybridization and habitat destruction.