False Gharial is a freshwater, mound nesting crocodilian with a distinctively long, narrow snout. This reptiles have a natural habitat in Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia.
Sadly, they are in danger of extinction because of habitat loss and also hunted for their skin and meat. Not only that, human often consume the eggs which make it even worse. According to IUCN Red List, their status is Vulnerable because the numbers that continue to fall globally.
Hence, Bali Safari Park is taking an action to help preserving this reptile. On 2020, we have successfully breeding of false gharial. Our team of veterinarians, keepers, and caretakers are proud to be part of this historic moment in Bali Safari Park. However, we face a challenge such as providing quite large area for breeding process!
The Timelines of Breeding
First, on 28 November 2019 we found out that the females try making a nest by drying leaves. After checking their nest thoroughly, there were some eggs!
The best treatment has been given to the eggs to maximize their chance of hatching. After long waiting – for about 110 days, finally on 17 January 2020 finally 2 eggs were hatched. In two more days, another 20 eggs were hatched. Unfortunately, from 24 eggs, 2 egss can’t survive so the total that is survive is 22 hatchlings.
How to Take Care the Hatchlings
There are some necessary steps to take care of the hatchling handled by our professional team. First, the hatchling were cleaned and weighed, in results around 120-130 grams. Then, we placing each individual hatchling into a large box with heating lamps and UV-B lights. The temperature of the box was regulate to range between 28 to 33 degrees Celsius.
Caretakers of these young false gharials record the temperature as many as four times a day. The water also will be change regularly. In the morning, the hatchling must do basking under monitoring until 10 o’clock.
After 2 weeks, the false gharials are fed daily with cuts of high protein Nile tilapia, catfish, and crickets. The overall health of the hatchlings are being monitor closely by Bali Safari Park’s medical team. It is because the young reptiles are vulnerable to diseases.