Friday, 5 December 2008

Another Croc



I had meeting with one of those real salt of the earth type characters Peter Watson who owns and operates Crocodile Creek on Kwazulu Natal’s North Coast. Among other things we discussed his vocation, how long they’ve been going, what it’s like working with crocodiles, and how it is they make a living out of it.

At some point during the conversation Peter asked me whether or not I had ever seen a crocodile hatch. Upon replying not in real life, we took a walk up to a temperature controlled facility where the croc eggs are stored. The eggs are incubated among what are either small stones or very course sand, in large polystyrene containers kept in a warm room.

Peter opened one of the containers scratched around until he found an egg that was ready hatch and we took it into the room next door. There was a basin of water ready and waiting to greet the newcomer and we literally stood there and watched this little croc come into the world. For somebody who had never seen it before, it was absolutely enthralling.

Once it was out of the egg Peter immediately put it in the water and amazingly this little creature probably about 25cm long, was moving around with the energy and enthusiasm of a champion, ready to take on the world.

After giving it a minute or two in the water, I was able to pick it up and hold it, scratch its nose, stroke its back and contemplate whether or not Peter would allow me to keep it….NOT. When they are born they are the most unbelievably cute playful little creatures, the challenge I suppose is as they get older, you are likely to encounter some serious TEETHING problems.

For me it was a brilliant experience, for which I would like to again say thank you, to Peter and the team at Crocodile Creek.

Photo by 3D Photographers, Courtesy of www.flickr.com

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