FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo welcomed a new addition on February 10 – a two-inch-long crocodile skink. It’s the first time this lizard species, which is native to New Guinea in Southeast Asia, has ever hatched at the zoo. The hatchling weighed two grams, approximately the weight of a pencil eraser.
Late last year, zookeepers discovered that the zoo’s two adult crocodile skinks had produced an egg in their exhibit at the Indonesian Rain Forest. A zookeeper accidentally disturbed the egg while cleaning the skinks’ aquarium. “We were concerned about the disturbance. It’s best practice to avoid moving a reptile egg,” said zookeeper Dave Messmann. That’s because if a reptile egg is disturbed, an air pocket inside the egg can shift, potentially causing the embryo to suffocate.
Hoping for the best, zookeepers incubated the egg by placing it in a deli tub filled with wet moss. It hatched 60 days later.
Adult crocodile skinks are about eight inches long and weigh about one pound.