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Endangered Crocodile Undergoes Procedure at Zoo Miami


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April 21, 2017

RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami


A 13 year old male Orinoco crocodile from South America underwent a procedure today at Zoo Miami to treat an infected wound most probably caused by a bite from another crocodile.   The nearly 10 foot long, 396 pound reptile had sustained a wound to its left front wrist that needed to be debrided and medicated but to do so, it had to be immobilized and transported to the Zoo Hospital where it was attended to by a team of veterinarians and zoo staff.

Dr. Doug Mader, one of the top veterinary specialists in the field of herpetology, and Director of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital in the Florida Keys, volunteered his time, along with some of his staff members, to assist in the procedure.

The crocodile received several x-rays as well as blood tests as part of an overall exam before the affected area was successfully treated surgically by removing the infected material and medicating the wound.  The crocodile will remain in the Zoo Hospital for the next several days to allow sufficient healing before being returned to its exhibit at the Amazon and Beyond area of the zoo.

Orinoco crocodiles are a critically endangered species that is found in isolated pockets of the fresh water tributaries of the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela.  They are the largest predators in South America and can grow to 15 feet long while feeding on a wide variety of fish, birds and small mammals.  Their biggest threats are habitat loss and poaching for their skin and meat.

12400 S.W. 152 Street, Miami, Florida  33177  /  305-251-0400