72-Year-Old Croc Dies at Lincoln Park Zoo

Father of five left a lasting impression

By Adriana Correa
|  Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM CDT
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PHOTOS: Lincoln Park's Oldest Animal Dies

Lincoln Park Zoo

Spanish moss ($13) adds complexity to exhibits such as the dwarf crocodiles’ in the Regenstein Small Mammal Reptile House.

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No one's shedding crocodile tears for this reptile. The grief is all too real.

R1 the crocodile, one of Lincoln Park Zoo’s oldest residents, has died at the ripe old age of 72. And while he will be missed, Lincoln Park Zoo officials are citing his age as a evidence of how well they care for animals.

“Geriatric animals speak to the level of care they receive at our facility”  General Curator Megan Ross said on the zoo’s web site. “R1’s age is a testament to exceptional animal husbandry.”

R1 arrived at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo in 1940, he represented a small population of Lincoln Park Zoo’s animals that once lived in the wild.

The dwarf crocodile was a resident of the Regenstein African Journey exhibit at the zoo.

He was a long-time bachelor before he met “Maggie,” another dwarf crocodile that arrived from Texas. The scaly couple successfully copulated and made five dwarf crocodile babies, but R1 had to be kept away from his brood so he wouldn’t eat the kids, the Sun-Times reports.

Hey, he's a crocodile!

 

Widely hunted by the locals in Africa dwarf crocodiles are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

They typically grow no more than five feet in length, and are the smallest living members of the crocodilian species.

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