Rare female crocodile suffocated during mating in Dutch zoo

March 19, 2014
Undated handout photo obtained on March 19, 2014 shows the Malaysian false gharial female crocodile which was killed during mating at a zoo in Amsterdam

A very rare and endangered female crocodile has died of suffocation in a Dutch zoo during attempted mating with a "dominant" male partner, the zoo said on Wednesday.

"In the end she couldn't handle the dominant mating behaviour of the male gavial," Amsterdam's Artis said in a statement of the false gavial (Tomistoma schlegelii) crocodile, introduced in October as part of a breeding programme.

During mating, the male false gavial holds the female down with his mouth "to show his superiority", the zoo said, stressing that the female had "accepted this behaviour".

"She eventually died of suffocation," the zoo said, with multiple bites all over her body, in particular around the neck.

There are only an estimated 2,500 false gavial left in the world. The crocodile is native to Malaysia, southern Myanmar and Indonesia's Borneo, Java and Sumatra.

The zoo had for years had a male and female false gavial but they did not mate and so they introduced another female, who died.

In the wild male false gavials can mate with multiple .

Only 10 zoos in Europe have a captive false gavial.

Explore further: London Zoo seeks female mate for near-extinct fish

Related Stories

National Zoo keeping watch for panda pregnancy

July 26, 2013

(AP)—Scientists at the Smithsonian's National Zoo say the female giant panda's hormones are rising, which indicates she may be pregnant or experiencing a false pregnancy.

US tiger kills Malayan female on first mate

December 23, 2013

Zoo keepers are probing why a male Malayan tiger killed a four-year-old female tiger it had only just met, when they were brought together for breeding purposes in California.

Polar bear dies at South African zoo

January 15, 2014

One of South Africa's two polar bears has died at the Johannesburg Zoo, leaving its mate now believed to be the only polar bear in Africa, a veterinarian said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.

Threat posed by 'pollen thief' bees uncovered

October 9, 2015

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of 'pollen thief' bees - which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators - and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

Most EU nations seek to bar GM crops

October 4, 2015

Nineteen of the 28 EU member states have applied to keep genetically modified crops out of all or part of their territory, the bloc's executive arm said Sunday, the deadline for opting out of new European legislation on GM ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.