Dubai: From housing sharks to penguins to relics of a dinosaur, it seems sky is the limit to animal exhibits malls in Dubai can have. This time, Dubai Mall’s newest resident wild animal is a 40-year-old Australian saltwater crocodile.
King Croc, one of the largest reptiles to ever be in captivity, was unveiled as the newest addition to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall on Tuesday. The 750kg reptile travelled 10,950km with his mate of 20 years, dubbed Queen Croc, from the Koorana Crocodile Farm in Queensland to Dubai earlier in June.
Previously known as Jock the Croc, King Croc is more than five metres long and has the potential to grow even bigger in the next 50 years.
The couple’s new home is a specially built enclosure three times the size specified for such species by the World Association of Zoos.
Paul Hamilton, head curator at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, said the enclosure mimics the crocodile’s natural habitat in that humidity and air quality is constantly monitored and controlled. It features a 150 sq m pool, temperature-controlled to between 28 and 30 degree Celsius. Bird and fish species similar to those of the croc’s habitat have been introduced in the enclosure.
Although born in the wild, King Croc was placed in a crocodile farm in Australia after proving a ‘problem’ crocodile by the locals at the Botanic Gardens in Australia. He has since been visited by people at the farm.
“For King Croc, people is not new. He has been doing it for 30 years,” Hamilton told Gulf News.
Hamilton assured the public that the enclosure, covered in 50mm acrylic glass, is 100 per cent safe for the crocodiles, staff and public.