China to release 280 artificially bred Yangtze alligators into wild

Updated:May 21,2020 10:15 AM Xinhua

HEFEI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A nature reserve in east China's Anhui Province on Wednesday released 32 Yangtze alligators, also known as Chinese alligators, into the wild, with another 248 planned to be released later this year.

Bred in captivity, the reptiles were placed and set free at different release points in the Anhui Chinese alligator national nature reserve.

Satellite trackers were attached to the tails of some of the alligators for future inspection and scientific monitoring.

Ma Chaoping, a breeder with the reserve, said the alligators released are young adult specimens aged about 10 years old. Each of them weighs some 30 kg with a length of around 1.5 meters.

All of them had received wild training before they were released, said Ma.

By the end of 2019, the reserve had set free a total of 228 Yangtze alligators in 15 batches. These alligators have adapted to the wild environment, and successively reproduced. Workers have found 338 incubated eggs, with 215 baby alligators naturally born.

China listed the Yangtze alligator as a first-class protected animal in 1972. There were about 200 wild Yangtze alligators in the country, according to a 2018 survey.