Chinese alligator laying on sand.
Animals

Chinese Alligator

At A Glance

  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Location: Discovery Outpost
  • ZOO ZONE: Discovery Outpost

    In the Zoo’s Reptile Walk, you’ll find the Chinese alligator, a critically endangered species. From nose to tail, belly to back, hard scales protect this petite alligator. Even the eyelids have bony plates under the skin! Chinese alligators use their snout and strong, clawed front feet to dig burrows in the banks of streams. When the cold months come, they hunker down in their burrows—or in caves—and stay there throughout the winter. We expect to become a breeding facility for this most endangered of all crocodilian species and are awaiting a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Species Survival Program. Look for other crocodilians—African dwarf crocodiles, Johnston’s crocodiles (or Australian freshwater crocs), slender-snouted crocodiles, and gharials—in the Zoo’s Lost Forest. 

    Did you know? Chinese literature and art dating back to ancient times depicts dragons that could be based on the Chinese alligator.

    Spy kid and African penguin.
    April 3-19

    Virtual Mission: Spring Break

    Online Wildlife Talks, Easter egg hunt, and More!
    Sloth bear standing on hind legs.
    ZOONOOZ

    Too Much Fun

    Meet the sloth bear brothers
    Platypus
    ZOONOOZ

    Relax with Platypus

    MEET THE SAFARI PARK’S PLATYPUSES
    Young brother and sister, mother and father wearing matching San Diego Zoo t-shirts.
    SHOPZOO

    ZOO FAMILY APPAREL

    Hotel with pool
    Creature Comforts

    PREFERRED HOTELS