WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo's resident 700kg Saltwater Crocodile Rex enjoyed his first meal since coming out of hibernation today, with the help of Master Butcher Victor Puharich of Victor Churchill.
Enjoying a hand-crafted serving of high quality chicken sprinkled with Victor Churchill's special 'Croc Seasoning' the 55-year-old reptile quickly snapped up the poultry in the Darling Harbour attraction's Kakadu Gorge exhibit.
Exerting over 1500 kilograms of jaw pressure to enjoy the jaw-chompingly delicious meal, Rex showcased the sheer power the Australian native species is synonymous with, as he launched himself out of his exhibit using his front legs and powerful tail.
Michael Craig, Senior Keeper at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, said this time of year is always exciting in the attraction's Kakadu Gorge exhibit and remarked: "Rex has been in hibernation since April this year, and thanks to warmer weather and a grumbling stomach, Rex is becoming more active and more willing to munch down on his favourite meal - chicken."
"Meal time at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is a thrilling time for both staff and visitors, because you can really see the power and food drive that Australian Saltwater crocodiles possess and judging by how quickly Rex ate his food, Victor hit the nail on the head with getting all the flavours just right," Craig continued.
Owner of Australia's Best Butcher Victor Churchill, Victor Puharich said when the opportunity came up to supply lunch for the 700kg reptile, although completely different to the types of meals Victor and his son Anthony usually prepare, it was a no-brainer.
"The customers that come through our doors usually aren't as scaly, so when this opportunity came up, we had to put our heads together and come up with something special," said Puharich.
"For me, the icing on the cake was being able to feed it to him. What an experience that was!" said Puharich.
Calling WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo home for the last six years, Rex was rescued from a Crocodile Farm in Darwin and now serves as an ambassador for the Australian native species, providing the public with the opportunity to come face-to-face with the monstrous animal and learn more about how unique the iconic species is.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo also works closely with its charity counterpart, the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund, whereby all proceeds collected from donation tins and spinners displayed at the attraction are donated to help protect endangered and threatened species, to safeguard their future for generations to come.
Three times a week, one lucky guest will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to feed Rex themselves, as part of WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo's Crocodile Encounters. Through daily educational talks and attraction interactives such as videos and quiz trails, guests can learn more about the species than ever before.
Featuring over 25 keeper talks and animal encounters, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is the perfect place to get up close to Australia's most iconic animals. From meeting Ringo the wombat to cuddling up to koalas at Koala Encounters and not forgetting to bravely hold a python in Kangaroo Walk-About, there's so much to see and do. With interactive displays, captivating daily feeding sessions, enhanced walk-through habitats and the new WILD Flight and treetops experience, there's never been a better time to visit WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.