Critically endangered crocodile electrocuted to death after chewing on zoo wires

Zookeepers have been left heartbroken after discovering a crocodile had died in its enclosure.

A critically endangered Cuban crocodile is thought to have electrocuted itself by chewing into electric equipment at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington D.C., US.

The 10-year-old reptile who was born at the zoo is believed to have been “attracted to a replacement electrical outlet and attacked the electric infrastructure in the habitat”.

READ MORE: Bloke mauled by giant crocodile asked to be 'bandaged up and taken to his boozer'

It was hatched in 2012 as part of a breeding program for the species to restore its dangerously dwindling numbers.

The Cuban crocodile is has become classified as critically endangered on account of only 3,000 purebred individuals existing in the wild.

Over the course of the beast's lifetime in captivity, this was the first time it is understood to have lashed out at electrical equipment and recent inspections gave no indication anything was wrong.

An investigation has been launched into the crocodile's death on December 17 with a pathology report set to conclusively determine its cause of death.

Until a verdict on cause of death has been reached, the enclosure will remain empty and the zoo's Reptile Discovery Centre has since been installed with redundant electrical breakers.

The National Zoo said: “The new outlet was approximately 4.5 feet off the ground, higher than the original outlet. Known for their aggressive behavior, the crocodile pulled the electric equipment off the wall and bit various pieces.”

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Cuban crocodiles' natural habitat is Cuba’s Zapata Swamp and Lanier Swamp on Isla de Juventud, but over the past few decades, purebreed numbers have nose-dived due to interbreeding with American crocodiles.

Earlier this month, owners of a labrador out for a morning walk watched in horror as their pooch was devoured by a massive 99-pound crocodile.

The Benn family had been walking in Kamerunga, a suburb in Cairns, Queensland, when Indie was pulled in by the massive creature.


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