Gharials in Nepal

  • Wild Chronicles heads to a breeding facility in Nepal that harbors gharials, the only surviving members of an ancient group of crocodilians. Their sharp teeth and huge size make them look fearsome, but gharials are more threatened than threatening. And despite pressure from dams, poachers, and fishermen, they're making a comeback, as conservationists use science to give very sensitive, very rare crocs a second chance at survival.

    1. Gharials are now found in only two countries in the world. What are these countries?

      Gharials are only found in India and Nepal.

    2. What is the primary threat to gharials in the wild?

      Habitat loss is the biggest threat to gharials. In particular, dams are drowning gharial habitats.

    3. Do gharials pose a threat to human populations?

      No, their diet consists almost entirely of fish.

    4. How long are baby gharials force-fed in the facility?

      People must force-feed fish to baby gharials for about six months.

    5. How many gharials live in the wild?

      More than 1,500 gharials live in the wild in India and Nepal.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    breed Verb

    to produce offspring.

    captive breeding Noun

    reproduction of rare species controlled by humans in a closed environment, such as a zoo.

    conservationist Noun

    person who works to preserve natural habitats.

    crocodilian adjective, noun

    order of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials.

    dam Noun

    structure built across a river or other waterway to control the flow of water.

    facility Noun

    a building or room that serves a specific function.

    poacher Noun

    person who hunts or fishes illegally.

    threaten Verb

    to scare or be a source of danger.