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Endangered blue iguanas having baby boom at San Diego Zoo

Nine Grand Cayman blue iguanas have hatched at the San Diego Zoo's reptile conservation center.

September 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a baby boom going on at the San Diego Zoo. Nine Grand Cayman blue iguanas have hatched at the zoo's reptile conservation center.

In past years, researchers at the zoo have only seen three or four hatchlings in a season, so this is more than double what they were expecting.

The lizards develop their blue coloring as they mature. They can grow to be more than 4-feet long and up to 30 pounds, and they can live as long as people.

Blue iguanas are one of the world's most endangered lizards. They have been vulnerable to snakes, livestock and even an occasional hurricane. The population dwindled to a few dozen in 2002, but a recovery program was created with American zoos. More than 500 blue iguanas, hatched in captivity, have since been released into the wild.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.