WATCH: Zoo welcomes female crocodile as potential breeding partner
PUBLISHED: 16:04 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 11 October 2020
A Norfolk zoo has welcomed a female saltwater crocodile into its fold - and hopes she will breed with the resident male once spring arrives.
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth, posted a video onto its social media channels showing the moment the crocodile was released.
According to zoo director Scott Bird, she is around 2.7 metres in length and weighs 60 kilos, hence the team of men and women needed to hold up the pipe and shimmy her out into the water.
He said: “We welcomed her on Wednesday from Crocodiles of the World in Oxfordshire.
“She’s probably around as big as she’s going to get at 2.7 metres, but males can grow up to around 5-5.5 metres.
“This one is 28 years old, so rougly the same age as the male crocodile we’ve got. That’s one of the reasons why we chose her.
“At the moment, we’ve got them separated by a wire mesh, but we’re going to give them the winter to see see if they’re compatible.
“So far, there’s been no aggression between the two, which is great news.
“It’s always good to bring in and pair up animals - and this is a fantastic opportunity for us.”
This new addition to the Thrigby Hall family is currently unnamed, with Mr Bird saying there are no plans to change that at present.
He said: “She’s joining 12 other alligators and crocodiles we have here at Thrigby Hall.
“We’ve had ones live until they’re about 60 years old in the past, but there actually hasn’t been many studies done on how this compares with the wild.
“Their natural range of habitat covers from the Indian Ocean down to Australia, and their conservation status is “of least concern”.
“We mainly brought her in for the breeding aspect, but there’s no doubt she’ll go down well with the visitors we have here.”
Speaking of tourist numbers more generallly, Mr Bird said the zoo had been “well-supported” by locals since restrictions were lifted.
“As long as we’re not ordered to shut, we’ll be open all year round - with social distancing restrictions in place so that everyone feels safe.”
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