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Blackduiker, 9 Mar 2012
    • snowleopard
      LAIR looks to be an extremely impressive addition to the Los Angeles Zoo, but this false gharial exhibit is enormously disappointing. San Diego (when it had gharials) has a brilliant habitat that also features a large number of turtles, and Fort Worth's gharial exhibit with underwater viewing is equally fantastic. The gharial pool in L.A. should have been the crown jewel of the new reptile complex but from photos it is just about as basic as I could ever have predicted.
    • DavidBrown
      From what I understand it wasn't developed as a gharial exhibit, but as a swamp for American alligators. At least they went with gharials. It is basic, but they chose to put the bulk of their resources into the main building and the desert building which I think is the right choice as they are the "crown jewels".

      The gharial exhibit is fine, but feels more like it was thrown together than planned to be spectacular.
    • mstickmanp
      Yes, this was originally planned for American Alligators. I'm guessing plans changed when Methuselah passed away.
    • Otter Lord
      May I correct/reassure you guys that false gharials are not actual gharials. Hence "false" in its name. I used to think these guys were smaller, but they are actually not, and require the same amount of land and water as Indian Gharials (according to WAZA).

      Hopefully the exhibit is heated for them, as it can get a little cold in the winter in Southern California, which was SDZ's problem with Gharials. Although this exhibit does not look spectacular, LA does a good job of securing a rare animal in their collection and bringing it close to people in an adequate looking enclosure.

      Does anyone know how LA acquired false gharials, and why? Are they going to breed them? I thought they would be phase outs, and I cannot think of enough zoos in the US that have them. It would sense for San Diego to look into putting these guys back in their old Tiger River habitat if the AZA wants to maintain their populations.
    • Blackduiker

      Yes, this was probably more of an afterthought, and originally planned for American Alligators which the zoo still has several of despite Methusaleh's recent death; including Reggie's habitat near the front entrance. In David's excellent review, he does mention our disappointment of the lack of underwater viewing. It is rather basic, but also totally adequate in size; this particular photo representing maybe half the exhibit space. See other photos of Crocodile Creek. And this video showing the gharials being introduced to their new home, appears to answer whether or not the pool is heated; note the steam rising off the water.
    • Blackduiker
      Home to two male False Gharials.
    • Zooish
      False gharials grow to over 16ft and are heftier than the true gharials, they're actually comparable to saltwater crocs. Captive breeding success for this species has been terrible, with only 1 reported breeding success (IIRC) in a Malaysian zoo despite several collections having them.

      My only complain about the the enclosure is that it seems too open with insufficient shade. False gharials are creatures of thick swamps and smaller tributaries, not so much open rivers.
    • Dicerorhinus
      They have reproduced at Aalborg, Fuengirola, Miami, Cypress Gardens and most recently San Antonio.

      I agree, infact the animal in the photograph is using the pier for shade. Not a nice enlosure, in my opinion.
    • Ituri
      Apparently the jury is still out on this issue. Though morphology suggests placement in Crocodylidae the genetics seem to hint at a close relationship with Gavialis gangeticus.

      Inte Comp Bio

      Many now refer to these as Malaysian gharials rather than "false".
    • Otter Lord
      or Tomistoma.
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