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17 Jun 2020 13:09:40
This World Crocodile Day, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is honouring its resident saltwater crocodile, Rocky, and he has also been given the chance to show off his training skills!
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.
Amongst these, is human 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 of the world they have been almost hunted to extinction, due to the value of their hide, habitat clearing and their reputation as man-eaters.
Marina Axia, Keeper at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and one of Rocky’s primary carers 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 successfully 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!”
To celebrate World Crocodile Day (and any day!), come eye-to-eye with Rocky at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour – and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch him showing off his new move.