1. ITV Report

Crocs found by Customs officers

The two Caiman crocodiles were rescued by Customs officials Photo: Blue Reef Aquarium

A pair of baby caiman crocodiles which were seized by Customs officials have been given a new home in time for Christmas at Portsmouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.

The miniature members of the crocodile family, which currently measure just 40cm in length, were discovered separately after being brought in to the country illegally.

Now the pair, which could eventually grow up to 1.5 metres long and weigh 20kg, will be looked after at the Southsea wildlife attraction.

We're delighted to be able to offer a new home for these amazing looking reptiles, particularly at Christmas. However, the fact they were illegally brought in to the country is obviously a major concern. Hopefully we will now be able to provide them with a safe and secure long-term future."

– Lindsay Holloway, Blue Reef Aquarium
Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

The spectacled caiman lives in a variety of wetland and river habitats and is found throughout south and central America.

Unusually it can tolerate both salt and freshwater environments and as a result is believed to be one of the most widely distributed of the world’s crocodile species.

The species' common name comes from a bony ridge between the eyes which gives the appearance of a pair of spectacles.

Mature caiman make a large nest on the forest floor using leaflitter and sticks in which the female lays up to 40 eggs. The heat created by this natural compost heap incubates the eggs.