Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE - By Sion­nie Kelly

It has been a sad week for Kyabram Fauna Park staff who said good­bye to much-loved croc­o­dile Getcha who died on Fri­day.

Getcha was a salt-wa­ter croc­o­dile who came to the fauna park in 2009 and be­come a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion for young and old.

With a unique per­son­al­ity, Getcha was known to be at times play­ful with those who came to ad­mire him.

Kyabram Fauna Park man­ager Ron Pope said chil­dren were usu­ally quite taken by the large croc­o­dile and Getcha would some­times try to scare them by get­ting up close to his glass en­clo­sure.

‘‘Some days you wouldn’t see him and other days he would be out sun bak­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘He cre­ated a lot of in­ter­est dur­ing his time at the park.’’

Mr Pope said un­for­tu­nately a few weeks ear­lier the power source to the rep­tile area crashed and took time to get back on­line.

This re­sulted in an in­con­sis­tent tem­per­a­ture in the en­clo­sure and saw Getcha con­tract an in­fec­tion, which he later died from.

‘‘The in­fec­tion he got we just couldn’t pull him out of,’’ Mr Pope said.

‘‘We did the best we could.’’

Mr Pope said work to build a new salt-wa­ter en­clo­sure would con­tinue de­spite Getcha’s un­timely death and the fauna park would adopt a new salt­wa­ter croc­o­dile when it was com­pleted.

Last year the fauna park started a Go Fund Me cam­paign to raise money for Getcha’s new en­clo­sure.

The cam­paign was suc­cess­ful and Mr Pope was hop­ing to see con­struc­tion start on the en­clo­sure in the next three to four months.

In the mean­time prepa­ra­tions are also be­ing made to put the fauna park’s fresh­wa­ter croc­o­dile on dis­play.

Mr Pope said the fauna park would not be the same with­out Getcha and be­cause of this they were plan­ning to have him pre­served by taxi­dermy. This will al­low Getcha to stay at the fauna park and be used as an ed­u­ca­tional tool for vis­it­ing stu­dents.

‘‘Getcha was a great at­trac­tion and it’s a sad lose,’’ Mr Pope said. ‘‘He was a unique an­i­mal.’’

Pic­ture: Ray Sizer

Re­lax­ing: Getcha with Kyabram Fauna Park man­ager Ron Pope dur­ing hap­pier times.

Missed: Getcha will be re­mem­bered fondly by all at the Kyabram Fauna Park.

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