A kiss for the crocodiles

Indsendt af: Sven Willemsens

At the end of september Davinia and Sven from the Dutch sistersite of NordicZoos, Zoosite.nl, visited Denmark. Sven is more than a fan of crocs. This is his report from Krokodille Zoo.

All photos: NordicZoos

Krokodille Zoo - zoosite
After our second night in Copenhagen, we headed south again, destination: Eskilstrup, home of Krokodille Zoo!

As a way of saying thank you for your hospitality, we decide to “pimp our ride"… NordicZoos-banner style! And off we go!!!!

We were already warned that the zoo itself isn’t all that spectacular. But being a reptile-freak I say: WHO CARES!!! They have 21 out of 23 crocodile species, so I’m bound to have a good time! They even breed 9 of the species (unfortunately, the 10th species produced an infertile clutch this year). So no matter how you put it, this is a zoo I must see.

The zoo is indeed quite small and basically consists of a building with the terrariums for the various croc-species and a greenhouse for the alligators. Due to this limited space, every inch is used to the fullest. The landpart of each terrarium, for example, is built over the water. This overhanging not only increases the available space, but also provides a shelter for the animals. This is a feature that secretive rainforest animals like caimans and the slendersnouted crocodiles really appreciate.

Krokodille collage

Another way to save room is by building “apartment" terrariums. Or to put it simple: just build one terrarium on top of another. This is of course only done with the smaller terrariums for small species or younger animals.

The bigger enclosures house mostly large adult crocs are generally themed with artificial rocks and live plants. One thing did come a bit as a surprise to me. The zoo doesn’t display all animals. Several species are taken off exhibit for a couple of months per year. Doing so seems to help reduce stress and in some cases triggers mating behaviour.

I think this gives a pretty good picture of what the zoo looks like. Now maybe a little word on the animals. Of course the most important inhabitants of the zoos are the crocodiles. You can see several “standard" zoo crocodiles such as the nile croc, the spectacled and smoothfronted caiman and the saltwater croc. But they also display some genuine beauties like the “mugger" (C. palustris), the Siamese croc (C. siamensis) and some REALLY RARE animals like the philipine croc (C mindorenis) and the Gharial (G. Gangeticus)

I specifically mention these 4 rare species because they are the ones I hadn’t seen myself., until now. Together with the black caiman (melanosuchus niger) this brings Svens “list of crocs I’ve seen/touched/smelled" to a total of 21. So now I’m only left with the 2 new world crocodiles (C acutus and C. intermedius) to complete the list.

Krokodille Zoo - soldaterara
Apart from crocodiles, krokodillezoo also houses several other reptile species. Green anoles (A. carolinensis) roam freely between the large crocodile enclosures and animals such as the spurred tortoise (G. sulcata), Green waterdragon (P. concincinus), chickensnake (S. pullatus) and green anaconda (E. murinus) inhabit their own separate enclosures.

The zoo also has a few warm-blooded animals, namely a pair of tamarin monkeys in the greenhouse and near the exit an aviary with military macaws.

This about wraps it up. Of course we stayed for hours and had a loooooong chat with the people from the zoo. Maybe one more fun fact: Krokodille Zoo is one of the very few places outside Australia that sells genuine “Steve Irwin" toys.

Krokodille Zoo - Irwin
I had a great time at the zoo and when we had checked in our hotel, we received a late night visit from René Hedegaard, founder and owner of Krokodille Zoo. After a long and very pleasant chat, it was off to bed, because the next morning our Danish adventure came to an end on the ferry back to Rostock.

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Kåre Jensen - Zoos.dk
Kåre Jensen

Kåre Jensen skriver på NordicZoos. Kåre er ung og en meget entusiastisk zoofan, der styrer direkte mod et liv i den internationale zoo-verden.

Han har besøgt et hav af zooer i hele Europa, og har en viden om zooer og dyr, der er de færreste almindelige zoogængere beskåret.