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10 rare Australian crocodiles arrive at Scottsdale reptile sanctuary

PHOENIX — An reptile sanctuary in Scottsdale, Arizona, welcomed 10 Australian freshwater crocodiles to its facilities Friday evening.

The crocodiles came from Zoo Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, and will now call the Phoenix Herpetological Society home. They are in the Valley as part of a breeding program.

“The freshwater croc is seldom seen in zoos in the U.S., and it is our goal to produce babies and make them available for zoos that wish to display them,” said Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

The 10 crocs are all between 1 and 2 years old. They flew from Frankfurt to Atlanta before arriving in Phoenix.

Johnson said the north Scottsdale sanctuary now has the second-largest crocodilian collection in the U.S.

“When our freshwater crocs are not participating in the breeding program, they will be utilized for education, especially during open house events and facility tours,” he said.

The Phoenix Herpetological Society said freshwater crocodiles used to be at risk of extinction because they were hunted for their skin, but the species has made a comeback due to conservation.