VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - One of 14 rare tomistomas in the U.S. was found dead Tuesday at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center’s crocodile enclosure.
Joan Barns with the Virginia Aquarium said the 13-foot, 28-year-old tomistoma named Grover was found dead as herpetological staff fed the animals. Grover had no apparent health issues and a necropsy will be conducted to determine his cause of death.
Grover and his habitat mate Gloria produced several eggs, but none were viable, Barns said. Gloria appears to be in good health and will remain on exhibit.
“It is always a tragedy to lose an animal, but losing such a rare and precious one is doubly difficult,” said Aquarium Executive Director Lynn Clements. “Certainly our staff, and many of our regular visitors, will mourn his loss.”
The Aquarium had one of seven pairs of the crocodilian in the U.S. and donates to the Tomistoma Task Force, an international coalition that works to protect the endangered species.
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