Chinese Alligators are Now on Display at Ellen Trout Zoo - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/20/06 - Lufkin

Chinese Alligators are Now on Display at Ellen Trout Zoo

by Ramonica R. Jones

The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin hosted a dedication ceremony Wednesday for a rare new exhibit. Five Chinese Alligators are now on display.

It's the fourth exhibit the Lufkin Rotary Club has funded in four years. Rotarians worked with zoo employees to build the Chinese Alligator exhibit.

The animals are smaller than American gators and there are very few of them left in the world. The Chinese Alligators are one of the three most endangered species of crocodilians on Earth.

Zoo Director Gordon Henley said, "It's been recently estimated that there are only 150 of them in the wild. In their home areas of China, they live mostly in cattle ponds with agriculture lands coming right down to the edge of their water, which makes it difficult for the alligators to get together and reproduce."  

The alligators are five years old. They hatched at the Houston zoo and are part of the species survival plan to keep them from becoming extinct.

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