Dubai: Crocodile Park invites residents, tourists to face their fear, hold, feed the reptiles

One of the moments most awaited by visitors is feeding time, spread across several feeding points that aim to 'reduce congestion'

By WAM

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Published: Wed 31 May 2023, 6:54 AM

With more than 20,000 square metres and 250 crocodiles from the Nile, Dubai Crocodile Park has just opened its doors to offer residents and tourists different experiences, including a natural history museum and an aquarium.

All this is available in a unique space on the planet that simulates the natural habitat of the crocodiles, originally from Africa, which also includes an innovative water heating/cooling system.


The park's aim is "to help visitors learn more about this incredible species," Tarryn Clare, the Exhibit Curator, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

"The park aims to provide knowledge and education to the public here in Dubai. The founders involved in developing the park are extremely passionate about this animal because they felt that the public is generally fascinated with crocodiles, despite completely fearing them," Clare commented.


According to the curator, who is originally from South Africa, "this fascination that people have is fear-driven. So, we would like to be able to transform that fear into a general fascination to learn more about their abilities and their amazing adaptation capabilities".

In this sense, the natural history museum housed in the park highlights, among many other facts, that crocodiles are contemporaries of the dinosaurs and that, thanks to their adaptability, they survived mass extinctions.

The second largest reptile species in the world, the crocodiles in the park were transported to the emirate by plane from different parts of Tunisia and other African countries.

These crocodiles can reach six metres in length and live up to 100 years. The average age of crocodiles in the park is 25, but visitors can also see and even hold baby crocodiles that are four months old.

One of the moments most awaited by visitors is the feeding time. The park has several feeding points that aim to "reduce congestion" during feeding times. However, Clare says, "there is not much competition because, contrary to popular belief, they do not eat much". They can fast for months. The Exhibit Curator explained that they eat twice a week and no more than five kilos of chicken or beef each.

Crocodiles, who are known for having small brains, are lazy to the point that, if they are not hungry, they are unlikely to spend energy moving.

The park's museum explains that the Nile crocodile has a total bite force of 1,600 kg/cm2, compared to the shark's 300 kg/cm2 bite force and the human's 60 kg/cm2.

The eggs, which the females bury in the sand, need a temperature of around 30 degrees, as the temperature determines the crocodile's gender during the first 15 days of the incubation period. For the Nile crocodile, a temperature of 28 to 30°C or 33 to 34°C helps produce females and a temperature of 30 to 33°C is likely to produce males.

The Dubai Crocodile Park is open from 10:00 to 22:00 GST.

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