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03 Mar 2019 11:50:57
This World Wildlife Day focuses on the theme ‘life below water’, so we are honouring our resident saltwater crocodile, Rocky, and raising awareness to the critical issues and challenges that marine wild life face.
The 365kg mammoth reptile, named after his hometown of Rockhampton, serves as an ambassador for his species, helping to educate guests about the threats facing crocodiles in the wild, such as hunting for crocodile hide.
In many countries, including Australia, hunting is now illegal, yet around the world there is still some illegal poaching taking place. In some parts, they have been almost hunted to extinction, due to the value of their hide, habitat clearing and their reputation as man-eaters.
Emma Malik, Senior Keeper and Rocky’s primary carer says working with such a large, fascinating and intelligent animal is the best part of her job.
“As part of Rocky’s enrichment, we engage him in training sessions to help stimulate natural behaviours – and also help us to care for him."
“Have you ever wondered how you would clean a deadly croc’s exhibit? After months of training, the team has now trained Rocky to recognise the sound of a ringing bell, encouraging the 4m reptile to emerge from the water and onto land, allowing keepers to enter the water and ensure it is in the best conditions for our favourite croc to return. Talk about room service!”
Book your visit now, and if you're lucky, you might catch Rocky showing off his new move!