- WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Aussie Big 5
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is home to a mammoth saltwater crocodile named Rocky. Rocky was originally from Rockhampton in Northern Australia which is where he got his name from. Like most crocodiles, he spends much of his time dozing in his large pool. Rocky’s water is kept at 30 degrees to allow him to maintain his preferred body temperature that sits between 30-33 degrees.
Rocky's First Ever Dental Surgery
Watch how our team of experts went about prepping and taking care of our 4.22 metre long (and c. 400 kgs) Saltwater Crocodile.
Did you know?
The Saltwater Crocodile is the largest reptile in the world, measuring sometimes over six metres from tip to tail and can weigh a mind-boggling 1200 kilograms. There are 23 species of crocodilians which can be found in the world’s rivers, lakes, billabongs and even the open ocean. Adult Saltwater crocodiles will eat almost anything they can catch including fish, kangaroos, crabs, reptiles and birds. At WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Rocky loves to eat barramundi.
Training and Enrichment
We have established training plans for many of our animals. One great example is our Saltwater Crocodile, Rocky, who has been trained to move up onto land on cue to allow our keepers to safely clean his enclosure. Over 10 months, our Keepers taught Rocky to associate coming up on land with being a positive experience using food and a bell to reassure his correct behaviour. The next step was to raise the safety gates. This was done slowly to get him used to the movement and noise and he was rewarded whenever he didn’t react. The final stage was ensuring he stayed calm while the divers were in his water cleaning the tank. This training started by hanging a wetsuit on a coat hanger over his water to eventually having our own divers in the water without any reaction from Rocky! Using positive reinforcement and a lot of patience and understanding, our Keepers were able to train Rocky.