Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cranky croc finds new home in Texas

It has taken several planes, a crane and good dose of valium, but a giant Northern Territory crocodile named Errol has made it all the way to Texas Zoo. At 4.7 metres, 50-year-old Errol is so long that he could not fit into a crate that would meet airline requirements. He did not take kindly to being moved out of the pen at the Darwin Crocodile Farm where he has spent the past 28 years. But with the help of some sedatives, Errol was put in a specially built box with his tail wrapped round to make sure he fit within airline cargo limits. His owner Adam Britton told ABC TV's Stateline that once in the US, the croc had to be flown in a cargo plane. "The pilot said to us 'if you want to go and check on Errol, that's fine, but you probably need to take that oxygen cylinder with you because after about five minutes you'll start feeling really faint and you might collapse'," he said. "So we thought, 'nah I think he'll be fine, he'll be good'. And in reality, he was good." He says the trip went like a dream. "We were treated like royalty and so was the crocodile," he said. He says Errol's new enclosure at a Texas Zoo has specially heated water, which the croc shows every sign of liking.
Dr Britton says Errol should draw lots of visitors because he will be the largest saltwater crocodile in North America."He's got a pretty cushy life here now. He's got nice heated water. They're going to train him and so they're going to interact with him a lot more than he was down at the crocodile farm," he said."He's going to be on full view to all the visitors at the zoo and he's going to be the ambassador for saltwater crocodiles for the Northern Territory."Fort Worth Zoo spokeswoman Dianne Barber says they will to continue to call the croc Errol until he settles in.
(Thanx Reinhard!)

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