399 Rare Baby Crocodiles Destined To Be Farmed For Leather Are Rescued

Chinese authorities seized 399 baby Siamese crocodiles from a home in southern China. The crocs were approximately 15 days old.

Police in Dongxing were visiting residents when they observed three men nervously moving goods outside of a rental house. One man was captured, while two escaped.

In 1992, Siamese crocodiles were virtually extinct in the wild, and are now one of the most critically endangered species of crocodilians in the world. The freshwater crocodiles, which are native to Southeast Asia, currently generally reside in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 12.37.08 AMApproximately 60,000 Siamese crocodiles are farmed each year for leather products, including shoes, handbags, and accessories.

Chinese police believe the crocs originated from Vietnam and were destined to be killed for leather products once they grew older. It’s illegal to raise or trade Siamese crocodiles without a license in China. These products are illegal in the United States and European Union, which results in an increase in demand in Asia.

Source: National Geographic

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