Search

WATCH: Zoo welcomes female crocodile as potential breeding partner

PUBLISHED: 16:04 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 11 October 2020

The new saltwater crocodile being released into its new home at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. Photo: Sarah Bird at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

The new saltwater crocodile being released into its new home at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. Photo: Sarah Bird at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Archant

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's new crocodile as she emerges from the tube she was carried in. Photo: Sarah Bird at Thrigby Hall Wildlife GardensThrigby Hall's new crocodile as she emerges from the tube she was carried in. Photo: Sarah Bird at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

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.

Scott Bird (centre back), zoo director at Thrigby Hall, said this was a Scott Bird (centre back), zoo director at Thrigby Hall, said this was a "fantastic opportunity" to pair up new and existing animals. Picture: James Bass

“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.”

MORE: New arrivals come to popular Norfolk zoo

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.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury