Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hartley Creek Crocodile farm - Cairns

We visited Hartley Crocodile Adventures, 40 kms from Cairns, on a hot day. John fondly remembered his visit there over 35 years ago. He still tells me how he thought they were stuffed and nearly patted one over a low fence. It is now a large well set out tropical zoo & small crocodile farm. We had a ranger feed salties chicken on a long bamboo rod. He then walked amongst freshies and fed those who came up to him. Don't know why they didn't try to bite him?? Maybe they weren't hungry.  We did a boat trip on the lagoon, where the driver dangled some chicken on a rod to some salties,  to get them to leap. He avoided the largest, oldest, croc as he could tip the boat. We watched a "croc attack" display, where a guy went in a small enclosure with just a rope with some chicken tied to it, which the croc bit, and got it to roll & snap! Crocs have the biggest pressure bite of any animal. They can also swim in shallow water without stirring the surface. They can also feel vibrations in the water with their jaw so can detect prey that way. Freshies, unlike salties, can run quite fast on land. We have even more reservations about them both now!
We had a tour of their croc farm which was small, only 4,000 crocs. Some farms raise tens of thousands of crocs. Must be a big demand for handbags. They keep them for 3 years then the skins  are sold to Italy to be made into expensive handbags. Crocs were nearly wiped out due to hunting for skins so farming prevents this happening.
We enjoyed seeing a snake handling demonstration, beware the venomous brown snake, the deadly box jelly fish (thankfully dead) with up to 3 metre tentacles, cassowaries, wallabies, koala's and a quoll.  
They can jump!

Get that chicken


Keeping cool in the shade

Croc attack display! 

Cassowary, or emu with "drag"

Carnivorous quoll was fed mice

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