Back from the Brink
About 1,000 gharials remain in the wild today—and that's the good news. In the 1970s, with fewer than 100 gharials left, India and Nepal established gharial breeding centers to bolster wild populations. The Zoo's gharials were hatched in the Nepal center.
Is There a Future for Gharials?
Raising and releasing gharials may not be enough to save them from extinction. Different human activities threaten this vulnerable species' survival.
When people dam rivers, monsoons flood gharial nests. Also, local people kill male gharials for their knobby snouts, which they believe have protective powers.
Male gharials develop knobs on the end of their snouts.
The knobs make bubbles and buzzing sounds in water—activity that appears to attract mates for breeding.
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