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Still Waters

Last hope to save rare crocs from extinction

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Bangladeshi conservationists introduced two rare river-dwelling crocodiles to potential mates Sunday in a last-ditch attempt to save the critically-endangered species from extinction.

A 36-year-old female gharial -- a fish-eating crocodile once native to rivers across the Indian subcontinent -- was brought from a zoo in northeast Bangladesh to the capital Dhaka, where it is hoped she will mate with an older male to repopulate the species.

A separate 40-year-old male was returned to the zoo in Rajshahi where there are only females.

"This is our last hope to rescue the critically-endangered gharial from total extinction," Sarowar Alam, who heads the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Bangladesh gharial project, told AFP.

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