The world's most endangered alligator has a few new members to add to its small ranks.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) eggs discovered in the Dongtan Wetland Parkwetlands of Shanghai have hatched, with three babies visibly healthy and photographed out swimming.
WCS estimates that only 150 of the alligators remain in the wild in China, so to conservationists news of the new additions is exceedingly welcome, bolstering efforts to reintroduce the animal that have been undertaken by the group and other aligned organizations.
"This shows that even the most endangered wildlife can recover if given a chance," said Aili Kang, WCS executive director for Asia programs.
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The Chinese alligator is one of only two living alligator species. Its counterpart, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), is faring much better. Hunting and loss of habitat once rendered it endangered, but since its removal from that list in 1987 the American reptile has thrived and is plentiful in number in the southeastern United States.