By Andy Sambidge
King Croc and female companion now reside in a special enclosure at Underwater Zoo in shopping mall
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in The Dubai Mall on Tuesday unveiled King Croc, one of the world’s largest reptiles.
King Croc and his female companion of 20 years now reside in a special enclosure at Underwater Zoo that replicates their natural habitat.
At over five metres long and weighing 750kg plus, equivalent to the weight of over 15 fully-grown men, King Croc is 40 years old and has the potential to grow even bigger in the next 50 years of his expected lifespan.
Its bite force is estimated to be about 3,700 pounds per square inch – the highest bite for any animal. Its head alone weighs over 150kg. The 60 razor-sharp teeth are the size of an average index finger.
King Croc arrived in Dubai from a crocodile farm in Australia, where he has been residing since 1996.
The transfer to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo was facilitated in partnership with the Australian government authorities, after a review on the quality of the display, qualifications of staff caring for the animals, the educational purpose of the exhibit and the integrity of the business, a statement said.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo said it will introduce an educational programme on crocodiles for schools, which is approved by the UAE Ministry of Education for school visits as part of the curriculum.
King Croc and his companion will also be a key part of the year-round conservation campaigns undertaken by Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo as part of its commitment to promote environmental sustainability, the statement added.
The new home for King Croc and his companion is three times the size specified for such species by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
It replicates the environment of Queensland with controlled humidity and constant monitoring of air quality and water temperature, which is maintained between 28 to 30 degree Celsius.
The crocodiles are expected to spend nearly 90 percent of their time in the central 150 sqm pool, which has a number of fish species, and the remaining time resting on land area with heated tiles.
Maitha Al Dossari, CEO of Emaar Retail, said the arrival of King Croc brings a fascinating new learning experience for visitors to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
“It underlines our commitment to enhance our offering on a regular basis and captivate our audiences with exceptional attractions that can seldom be discovered in a mall environment.
“These large aquatic reptiles have a history of over 60 million years surviving through different environments and terrains. Through our exhibit, we are offering the exciting opportunity for our visitors to learn more about crocodiles and their role in the ecosystem. This marks the first time a crocodile of this size finds his home with in a mall in a major city.”
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, managed by Emaar Retail LLC, features a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel.
With the exception of natural sunlight.....ever....for this poor guy, I'm sure.