It is as exclusive as the Cuban cigar, the Cuban crocodile. One couple, Hillary and Castro, have found a home in Sweden since 1981.
Apart from a couple of hundreds living on Cuba, there’s only one breeding couple in the world – Hillary and Castro – and they live at Skansen, the open air museum in Stockholm. Earlier this week Hillary and Castro became parents to 16 crocodile babies.
In 1978, Cuba’s President Fidel Castro wanted to give a gift to a Soviet cosmonaut. He chose a couple of Cuban crocodile babies. The Soviet cosmonaut in turn gave them to a zoo in Moscow, which in turn re-gifted them to Skansen in Sweden, where the exiled crocodiles got their names Hillary and Castro.
Says Jonas Wahlström, Manager at the Skansen Aquarium: “This is the biggest litter we’ve ever had.” Most of the 16 crocodile babies will be sent out to other zoos, primarily in the U.S.. They will not be named.
“We simply can’t tell them apart,” Wahlström continues. “They are identical: black with yellow dots. The Cuban crocodile is probably the most beautiful crocodile there is.” Wahlström also explains that before the revolution, many Americans went crocodile hunting on Cuba, since American crocodiles were protected. According to Wahlström only a couple of hundred Cuban crocodiles remain on Cuba – in a national reserve park. And then there’s the exiled Cuban crocodile breeding couple in Sweden.
(In Swedish only)