Make a dinner date with Henry

By Duncan Guy Time of article published Jun 27, 2020

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Durban - It’s rare to be able to condition reptiles into associating signals with feeding time.

However, Crocworld’s crocs have come to associate a deep, reverberating call of “come, come” to be associated with feeding time, said the Scottburgh conservation centre’s general manager, Martin Rodrigues.

Their 11am meal will happen live on video during a Monday webinar presented by Crocworld in partnership with The Independent on Saturday.

The most famous of Crocworld’s crocs is 119-year-old Henry who is of such a monstrous size that any effort to tie a string around his belly would require two to three metres of chord.

He’s been the resident stud since arriving in 1985 from a croc farm in Botswana. Henry is believed to be the oldest known crocodile in captivity.

Rodrigues said there were an estimated 1800 to 2200 crocodiles that would call the waters of KwaZulu-Natal their home, both in captivity and in the wild, the largest concentration of the latter being in the isiMangaliso Wetland Park. He added that their presence in rivers contributed to healthy biodiversity, where predators and prey exist in balance.

Rodrigues said while crocodiles less than 1m in length were generally not a threat, larger ones would be, and people should consider this while in marshy areas of lagoons.

“But they are not the only danger. Bull sharks also venture up into lagoons.”

During the webinar, viewers will also be treated to interesting facts about crocodiles.

Wednesday, at 1pm, will then be on-screen time for South Africa’s 175 species and subspecies of snakes that can give fatal bites. Crocworld has a collection of poisonous snakes, some of which will be shown on this webinar.

Whatever non-poisonous species will feature depends on which are caught in response to people calling in and asking for them to be caught. They will be released afterwards.

Tune into the live Facebook video sessions on the Independent on Saturday Facebook page on Monday at 11am and Wednesday at 1pm. For more info, visit www.crocworld.co.za.

The Independent on Saturday

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