Well this last Saturday we all donned our Steve Irwin khaki’s, and got in touch with our inner “Crocodile Hunter” for a very exciting morning out in the field.
It all started with our reserve staff reporting a sighting of a lone Crocodile out in the forest where they had been working. This in not unusual as crocodiles can walk a fair amount of kilometres in order to find new and reliable water sources. This guy was on the banks of a very dried up river bed, and luckily for us, we had a new dam that was looking for a resident croc.
Naturally, we let nature take it’s course on most occasions although because the crocodile numbers are quite low in this reserve we decided to help this lonely guy out a bit. Crocodiles were never reintroduced and so whatever number crocodiles we have residing on the property has been of their own accord and their own movement in to and out of the property.
The dam that was to become the crocs new home had dried up over the winter months, and so we took the opportunity to dig it slightly deeper and make it more “user friendly” for our animals. We do pump water from a borehole into this dam when the water levels start looking too low to ensure that our animals are gauranteed of a reliable water source when things get too dry.
After packing a blanket, some ropes, a towel and a very large stick off we went to catch the croc.
We came upon him in very thick vegetation and luckily for us, his body tempreture was quite low making him very lazy and easy to work with.
|The crocodile wrapped up and ready for relocation.|
We made sure that his eyes were safely blind-folded to protect them during the move, and his jaws were tied shut to make sure that he couldn’t injure himself, or anyone else for that matter.
For a crocodile just under 2 metres in length, it took 4 adults to carry it back to the waiting Cruiser for the last stretch of the capture. Once on the vehicle, Anand and myself secured him by sitting on his back whilst we travelled but ensured that our full body weight was not on him. Just enough pressure to convince him that a deathroll would not be a good idea!
After an uneventful trip to the dam, we took our new friend down to the waters edge to show him his new home. The poor croc was very reluctant to enter the water and so we left him on the edge to warm up and regain some of his energy.
|Duze inspecting the Croc, under close watch from Dale!|
We are so glad to say that Croc is very happy in his new home and after us avoiding the dam for some 3 days to give him some time to settle in, he has been spotted swimming around quite happily.
|On the banks of his new home, catching some sun.|