The Chinese alligator
, locally known as ''tu long'' (earth dragon), is classified as ''critically endangered'' in the international Red List of Threatened Animals maintained by the World Conservation Union, or IUCN.
According to the Maruyama Zoo in the Hokkaido capital, five of the 20 eggs laid by a female Chinese Alligator in mid-May have been hatched in an artificial incubator.
The Chinese Alligator, or Alligator sinensis, is a small dark-gray alligator about 2 meters long which inhabits the Yangtze valley in China.
The success of this small population suggests that there's hope for bringing the Chinese alligator back to some parts of its former distribution," he added.
The first three animals released in Hongxing Reserve of Xuancheng County in Anhui in 2003 were from the Anhui Research Center of Chinese Alligator Reproduction (ARCCAR).
These new islands and wetlands are potential environments for reintroducing the Chinese alligator
to the wild.