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Rare Chinese alligators now on display at San Diego Zoo

July 4, 2012 |  7:55 am


Two rare Chinese alligators have arrived at the San Diego Zoo, part of a long-term plan by a coalition of zoos and reptile parks to save the critically endangered species.

Once the Chinese alligator roamed much of eastern China. But their numbers in the wild have dwindled due to the pressures of modernity.

"We're desperate to help them," said Kim Lovich, associate curator of herpetology at the zoo.

Xiao and Xidi are part of a new reptile and amphibian exhibit at the zoo making its debut Wednesday. Around the corner from the Chinese alligators: Johnson freshwater crocodiles.

— Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: One of the newly arrived Chinese alligators at the San Diego Zoo. Credit: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo