BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is happy to welcome a 15-year-old male Western African slender-snouted crocodile to the Chimpanzee Forest.

He is named Baron, after Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier, a French naturalist and zoologist who first described the species.

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Baron arrived from a private facility in Florida. After a 30-day quarantine, he has spent time getting accustomed to his new habitat.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is happy to welcome a 15-year-old male Western African slender-snouted crocodile to the Chimpanzee Forest. Credit: Maryland Zoo

“Crocodilians tend to be long-lived and grow very slowly. Baron may be 15, but he is only four-feet-long and, at just over 17 pounds, he weighs less than all the African mud turtles that share the habitat with him combined (at approximately 22 pounds),” said Kevin Barrett, reptile & amphibian collection and conservation manager at the Zoo. “He is fed a healthy diet of frozen/thawed rodents and fish, so he won’t be bothering the turtles and cichlids that share the habitat with him. He is adjusting quite well and we are really looking forward to introducing him to our visitors.”

Western African slender-snouted crocodiles are primarily found in “tropical rainforests and lightly covered savanna woodlands along the shores of shallow rivers and larger bodies of water.”

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They are found in freshwater environments.

“We are very happy to have the renovations to the habitat complete so guests can continue to learn about this amazing species,” continued Barrett. “Besides replacing the large viewing window, we completed some minor repairs inside the habitat, as well as making the land portion of the habitat area more functional for his animal care team.”

Slender-snouted crocodiles are listed as “critically endangered.”

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CBS Baltimore Staff