Dwarf Crocodiles – Riverview Park & Zoo

Two baby West African Dwarf crocodiles were recently hatched at the Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough. Two eggs hatched on Dec. 17, 2022 after they were incubated for over 100 days. The hatchlings are the offspring of the Irwin and Lyle crocodile, residents of the Park and Zoo.

These west African crocodiles are the smallest of the crocodilian family. The two babies are currently 10 inches and 0.2 pounds (100 grams). Adults can grow up to five to six feet in length and 44 pounds.

West African Dwarf crocodile is considered critically endangered due to habitat loss in the reptile’s native African countries. There are an estimated 25,000 to 100,000 individuals in the wild. Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN), the West African Dwarf crocodile conservation status is “vulnerable.”

Females typically lay an average clutch of 10 to 14 hard-shell eggs, though up to 21 have been recorded. It will take up to two years to determine the sex of the crocodiles as they can change based on their environment. The females only lay one clutch a year, and two baby crocodiles born is an important success for the species’ survival plans.

Crocodiles mainly eat fish, crustaceans and amphibians. At the zoo, the crocodiles are fed twice a week with a diet of various types of meat.

The zoo is the only free admission accredited zoo in Canada and is open 365 days a year. These baby crocodiles won’t be available for public viewing until the summer. You will find them in the seasonal conservation exhibit in the Dobbin Building near the train station.

Cathy Mitchell, Riverview Park and Zoo