Saturday, 9 January 2016

Crocs

We had a very enjoyable afternoon at Crocosaurus Cove. This is a tourist place in the CBD where people can learn about crocodiles and see them up close in a safe environment. There are more than 200 crocodiles as well as turtles, lizards, and snakes. Entry is quite cheap (we got a Seniors discount) and it is a very well-run facility.

Both salt water crocodiles and fresh water crocodiles are protected species in Australia. We live in their environment. We work out ways of living together.

At Crocosaurus Cove the crocodiles live in big tanks and are well fed. Here in the NT crocodiles are farmed for their skins and their meat. When nuisance crocs are removed from the harbours and waterways they are re-located to the farms. Crocosaurus Cove is associated with one of those farms. It is also associated with a scientific research facility.

There are plenty of signs to tell you about crocodile life. All the signs are in English. I thought they were excellent.

We watched a crocodile feeding session. Although we did not do it, there is an opportunity for everyone to feed the crocs at Crocosaurus Cove. Dead fish are tied by a long length of string to a pole. You dangle the fish near the crocodile and he will jump for it. This is a natural behaviour as crocs jump for birds that fly too close to the water.
This is from the Facebook page for Crocosaurus Cove.
The people in the Cage of Death are not identified. It is not me.

There are two different opportunities to swim, or at least be in the water, in the salt water crocodile enclosures. Both are safe but exciting. It is safe because the glass is so thick.
The most famous is the Cage of Death. That has a cost. You are lowered in a glass cylinder into the big croc tank. You are supplied with a mask and snorkel and submerged to about chest deep. There is just one huge salt water croc in that tank. He is encouraged to play the game by handlers giving him some extra fish. The croc will come up to the cage and the participants say it is absolutely terrifying. A photographer takes a few photos for the client to take home.
But there is another opportunity to do something similar at no extra charge. Another tank has a glass divider. There are about a dozen medium sized crocodiles on one side and you and all your friends can swim on the other side. The water is about 1.5 meters deep and families can do this together.

Another photo from their Facebook page
I liked the air conditioned museum containing models of various types of crocodiles from around the world. Truly fascinating. Also in the museum are skeletons to illustrate the differences in bone structure. And at certain times you can have your photo taken while holding a baby salt water crocodile. Of course his mouth will be taped shut. Even tiny crocs can bite off a finger.

The turtles are lovely. We saw quite a few different species. Pig nosed. Long necked. Turtles with high shells. Turtles with flatter shells. Red faced. Yellow faced. Turtles with flippers. Turtles with claws. There are turtles in a pool outside and more turtles in the air conditioned aquarium section.

Of course my sister and I wore our hats, even inside.
Out mother instructed us most carefully to wear a hat and have a hanky.
As well as crocodiles and turtles we saw some snakes and lizards. I had no idea there were so many interesting species of geckos. The reptile enclosure is air conditioned and there are signs at each exhibit. I wondered how anyone could manage to feed all those lizards and snakes their special foods. It must be rather complicated.

We had a slow walk around the aquarium before enjoying a cool snack from the cafe.

Here is a link so you can explore the Crocosaurus Cove website for yourself.   http://www.crocosauruscove.com/visitor-info/
I am not receiving any payment or reward for discussing our visit there. I just enjoyed our visit and thought other people might like to know what life is like here in the best city in Australia.

2 comments:

  1. This attraction must be new since my visit to Darwin. It looks like somewhere we would have enjoyed if it had existed!

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  2. I can well imagine it being a terrifying experience to get up face to face with a crocodile even if there is a glass wall in between... Probably enhanced if you're in the water yourself. No crocodiles at our zoo, but we do get a similar opportunity to get up close to African lions with a glass wall in between. (The zoo is not kept open in the winter though because it's too cold for many of the animals to be outside much then.)

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