Orinoco crocodile are native to Colombia and Venezuela. They became critically endangered due to hunting for their meat, skin and teeth (which is believed to have medicinal benefits).
These crocs were saved from extinction when a group of local Venezuelan farmers began breeding them on private lands, establishing a conservation program. Today, only two facilities in the United States are breeding this species—the Dallas World Aquarium and the Gladys Porter Zoo. These breeding and conservation programs are working together to release and introduce individuals hatched in human care into their native habitats of Colombia and Venezuela, hopefully reestablishing a population in the wilderness.
Orinoco crocodiles are some of the world's largest crocodilians—even though Roberta is still small!
These are South America's largest predators—some reaching 22-feet!
Orinoco river in Colombia and Venezuela
Up to 22-feet-long
Opportunistic hunters; typically fish, birds and small mammals
Large teeth, camouflage, thick skin
Lay up to 70 eggs
Up to 80 years