Turkish delight as crocs take flight

Two 50–year–old Australian saltwater crocodiles have successfully been exported to an aquarium and underwater zoo in Turkey, thanks to the efforts of our staff to meet the importing country requirements.

Rob, a five metre long male crocodile, and Mrs Rob, a three metre long female croc, made the journey. These two had been caught in the wild as rogue crocodiles, before calling the Koorana Crocodile Farm in Rockhampton home for decades.

The crocs departed Brisbane on 13 April, transited Singapore and arrived in Turkey, before passing Turkey’s biosecurity requirements on Friday 14 April.

The department’s head of veterinary services delivery, Dennis Way, said a great deal of work went into facilitating this rare export, including certifying the reptiles’ health and welfare and negotiating export terms with Turkish counterparts.

“Exporting eight metres’ worth of crocodiles is no mean feat, but our team snapped to it and made it happen,” Mr Way said.

“This export involved placing the two sedated salties in a bespoke crate each complete with climate control and safety measures, before they were trucked from Rockhampton to Brisbane Airport.

“They then boarded a flight to Singapore, accompanied by the Turkish zoo’s curator and a zoo animal transport agent to monitor their welfare and health.

“In Turkey they again underwent a veterinary examination to ensure they met Turkey’s biosecurity requirements.

“Our staff worked with their Turkish counterparts to ensure they were satisfied the crocs met their importing requirements, underlining the reciprocal nature of biosecurity.

“Rob and Mrs Rob will now be exhibited as a pair at a soon–to–be–opened Underwater Zoo.

“This state of the art zoo is part of the new Boulevardi mall—the largest in Istanbul which was inspired by the Dubai Mall.”

Pictures are available on request

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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