Chinese alligator

Alligators at the Cincinnati Zoo.

A full-grown Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) is only about half as big as its cousin, the American alligator. Despite its fearsome reputation, it is shy and too small to be much of a threat to humans, yet human activities are pushing it along the path of decline. Habitat loss, collection, over-hunting, and direct persecution are putting the survival of the estimated 150 Chinese alligators remaining in the wild at risk. Chinese alligators hatched at zoos in the United States are being reintroduced into the wild in China to ensure the species’ survival.


  • Where to see them: Eastern China
  • Length: Up to 6.5 ft
  • Weight: 50 to 85 lbs
  • Habitat: Rivers, streams, marshes, and other bodies of water
  • Diet: Fish, mussels, and other small animals
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Critically endangered)
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