DUBAI- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in The Dubai Mall yesterday(June 17th) unveiled its exciting new addition, which has come all the way from Australia and is all set to thrill every visitor.
Regarded as nature’s rare phenomenon, King Croc, the proud new addition, is 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.
King Croc has impressive credentials that will awe visitors. At over 5 metres long and weighing an imposing 750 kg 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.
Every aspect of King Croc makes it a truly unique addition to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Its bite force is estimated to be about 3,700 pounds per square inch – the highest bite for by any animal. Its head alone weighs over 150 kg. The 60 razor-sharp teeth are the size of an average index finger.
King Croc comes to 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 careful 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.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo will introduce a dedicated educational programme on crocodiles for schools, further adding to the edutainment attraction’s appeal, 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 new home for King Croc and his companion at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo 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 C. The crocodiles are expected to spend nearly 90 per cent of their time in the central 150 sq m pool, which has a number of fish species, and the remaining time resting on land area with heated tiles.
Maitha Al Dossari, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Retail LLC, 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.
“We are confident that King Croc will further define Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo as the must-visit destination in the city, and will serve as a wonderful new experience for children and adults alike.”
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, which already has Dwarf African Crocodiles, was an ideal fit for King Croc. They were introduced to Underwater Zoo as per the permits and protocols of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, managed by Emaar Retail LLC, features a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel. Underwater Zoo, located on Level 2 above the main aquarium tank, presents the bio-diversity in different ecological zones including Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. Apart from Humboldt Penguins and Caiman Crocodiles, the animals featured here include Piranhas, Giant Spider Crabs, Small Claw Otters, Sea Jellies and Clown fish.