Medical decision making: international conference in Lausanne

Medical decision making: international conference in Lausanne
Medical decision making: international conference in Lausanne

Raised by Aquatis in Lausanne, sixteen young sacred crocodiles set off for Morocco on Wednesday. Sixty years after their disappearance from the territory, they will be gradually reintroduced into their natural environment, a first on the African continent.

Equipped with microchips in preparation for passing through customs, the reptiles were placed in very stable individual compartments, Michel Ansermet, director of the Aquatis aquarium, told Keystone-ATS on Wednesday. “Everything went very well, in total calm,” he rejoiced.

Comfortably installed, the crocodiles were then taken by a special transporter in a van to Geneva, then by plane. “Arrival in Agadir is planned at night, which prevents the specimens from being exposed to high heat,” noted Mr. Ansermet who accompanies them.

And to specify that the travelers of the day measure between 42 centimeters and 1.06 meters for the tallest. Two come from a 2019 litter, fourteen from a 2022 litter.

Acclimatization at Crocoparc

The Crocoparc of Agadir, a “large, very well designed center” will initially welcome the sixteen new residents in a specially designed pool. “The two teenagers and fourteen pre-teens will finish their growth in this place, until they reach 1.30 m or 1.40 m. They will adapt to the temperatures of the country and will have to learn to manage,” explains the zoologist.

If a few specimens will be kept at the Crocoparc in order to form a reproductive nucleus of the species, “in a year, in May 2025, we will release the others into the wild. This will be in the south of Morocco in gueltas, namely holes of “water in the Sahara”, describes the expert.

The site has been designed for their needs. It was chosen taking into account the interests of local populations and in a context of sustainable socio-economic development of the area, in accordance with the new protocol of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said Mr. Ansermet.

Ten years of work

“The reintroduction of this species is a first in Africa, a second at the global level. The Cologne Zoo (D) has in fact reintroduced crocodiles from the Philippines into this archipelago in 2023,” notes the specialist.

It is also the fruit of ten years of work, “a great moment, something crazy,” rejoiced Mr. Ansermet. The travel documents alone took six months of work, he notes.

“Good character”

The sacred crocodile – a species “which has a good character and is less aggressive than its Nile counterparts” – has disappeared from Morocco for around sixty years. In serious danger of extinction, there are between 3,500 and 5,000 left in the world.

“Morocco has already declared itself interested in the next spawning. We are also in contact with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, who are interested in the reintroduction of these reptiles on their territory, as well as “to genetic exchanges”, underlined the director.

Also in Europe

“Here at Aquatis, we keep the pair of parents Cléo, 44 ​​years old, and Farouche, 45 years old. They reproduce approximately every two years. Two little ones will also soon leave for a zoo in England in order to “rebuild” the population of sacred crocodiles in Europe.

For the record, the Aquatis aquarium-vivarium is the institution in charge of the sacred crocodile conservation program at European level. The institution participates in several species conservation programs of the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

This article was automatically published. Source: ats



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