Yesterday, for my birthday, my husband bought an experience for me to a zoo I’ve been to before, Crocodiles of the World, in 2014. I loved it and I said I want to do crocodiles feeding. The Crocodiles of the World zoo is only 30 minutes away from Oxford and I told my husband I want to visit them again, much to his annoyance, as he already booked the experience when I was talking about them. He surprised me a few days before my birthday, so I know and don’t make any other plans for the day.
Crocodiles feeding was such an amazing experience, I loved it. Here are a lot of pictures from the experience.
First of all, not all the crocodiles were interested in food. They are fed a few times a day and, by the end of the week, each one of them gets something to eat. There are 35 crocs in that enclosure, all happy to live together side by side. As they don’t need a lot of food, they didn’t squabble at all to get the meat.
Before my experience, the keeper fed the crocodiles and talked about them while doing so.
After the feeding time talk, he went to get some more mice for my experience. I can’t lie, it wasn’t the most comfortable thing to feed dead mice to crocodiles. I had mice as pets as a teenager and I felt sorry for them. But is not likely the crocodiles can be vegetarians or vegans (like we can 😉 ). They do mention that on their website, just to make sure everybody is aware of what the experience involves.
It was so exciting. The crocodiles, despite their very small brain, know a lot. They were aware that my presence on the feeding platform means more food. They were all looking at me, although staring would be a better description.
I got my first mice, poor little guy, and off we went.
In the first part of the experience, I had to throw mice at the crocodiles. More often than not they wouldn’t catch it, but would feel it in the water with the sides of their mouths and would snap it up. If nobody gets a mice, as it happened, the fish who are in the enclosure with them would eat it up. It helps with the cleaning and the crocs are too well fed to bother the fishes.
The last five mice were fed with this long pole. It was quite heavy. At a point the crocs who have to pull the mice from the clamp, making an effort to get their meal, hit the pole hard and I was worried it would mean she would lose a teeth.
The keeper told me that crocodiles grow back missing teeth. How cool is that? Also I imagine the vets are happy with this arrangement as well.
All the crocodiles in the enclosure are females, bred in captivity. They can’t be released because they know that humans feed them and this would mean they would go near humans for their lunch… with possible unpleasant situations arising from this. At the moment the crocs are about 9 years old and still small. A new and bigger enclosure will be built in the next few years so they can have a bit more space, suitable for them when they grow up.
I have such an amazing time and I loved hearing more about them. The crocodiles seemed very happy with their lives, having a snack once in a while and spending the rest of the time doing what they do best: relaxing. The keeper said that people expect crocodiles to be very active after seeing them in documentaries on TV, but the fact is that the crocodiles spend most of their time not moving so they don’t spend energy on that. These little guys can go for months without food for this reason. They are amazing creatures and the staff there seem very keen on them.
I would highly recommend this experience, is so worth it! They have a few more experiences at the Crocodiles of the World, so make sure you check their website for details.
After the experience, we went on to visit the zoo. They have, as one can easily imagine, crocodiles, but there are a few more other animals there.
This lonely meerkat was keeping an eye for the others. The others though were spending their time indoor, where it was warmer.
The otters were inside, looking out for the keeper who would give them a bit of food. The keeper approached us and told us a few facts about these little guys. It was lovely to hear the stories of these three brothers who like spending time together. They are 7 and this is how much Asian otters live in the wild, but in a zoo, with the care they receive, they can reach ages up to 12 or 14.
The monkey was so cute and fast, it was very hard to get a picture that wasn’t blurry.
This is a KooKaburra, a funny little guy who was waiting for his lunch, judging by the way he was looking at us.
The fishing cat looked a bit peckish as well. I think the keepers are constantly preparing and giving them food.
The rules for safety at the zoo are hilarious, so I’ve decided to make a collage with these three.