Paignton Zoo is sad to announce that its male Nile crocodile was found dead in its pool on the morning of Wednesday, April 6.
The 35 year old, which was around 3 metres in length and weighed almost a tonne, was found by keepers on their routine early morning rounds.
He was one of a pair that came to Paignton Zoo from Wroclaw Zoo in Poland in 2008 when Crocodile Swamp opened. The male was bred in a collection in Silesia in the Czech Republic and the female was hatched in Poland. The Nile crocodile is protected by CITES.
Mike Bungard, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, said: “We are shocked and upset. Crocodiles are very good at hiding illness and very difficult to diagnose. He was seen to be lethargic the other day and he was under observation by our in-house vet team because he was not eating normally – though crocodiles can go for long periods without eating. A post-mortem examination will be carried out and we may learn more from that.”
Crocodile Swamp cost £1.5 million and is home to Cuban, Nile and saltwater crocodiles, as well as large snakes and a dazzling range of tropical plants. The project was part-financed by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In addition, up to £800,000 has come from Gift Aid donations made by zoo visitors.
(from a press release)