Shirtless and waist-deep in the dark waters of Cuba’s palm-speckled Zapata Swamp, researcher Etiam Perez releases a baby crocodile confiscated from illegal hunters back into the wild.
The newborns quickly become fierce and intimidating predators, scientists say, capable of reaching lengths of nearly five meters as adults. The Cuban crocodile, said veterinarian Sosa, is especially pugnacious, with little fear of humans.
"It is a very curious critter," said Sosa. "When you see one in nature...you know it is a Cuban crocodile because they come to you."
(Reporting by Nelson Gonzalez; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Picture editing and layout by Eve Watling; Text editing by Deepa Babington)