What a croc-er en­counter

Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE - By Hay­den Thom­son

Shep­par­ton Har­mony Vil­lage res­i­dent Anna Jonkers was happy to meet Mr Smi­ley the salt­wa­ter croc­o­dile yesterday. More than 40 res­i­dents at the aged care cen­tre met tur­tles, lizards, pythons, frogs and croc­o­diles, thanks to a visit from Mel­bourne’s Mo­bile Zoo Rep­tile En­coun­ters. ‘‘It was the first time I’ve seen a croc­o­dile and I was glad his mouth was tied shut when I held him,’’ Ms Jonkers said.

Slip­pery, slith­ery and slimy rep­tiles of all de­scrip­tions were on show at Shep­par­ton’s Har­mony Vil­lage yesterday.

‘‘We like to give our res­i­dents ex­pe­ri­ences they wouldn’t usu­ally have,’’ Har­mony Vil­lage leisure and lifestyle co-or­di­na­tor Joy Peters said.

‘‘It takes them out of their com­fort zone and is some­thing dif­fer­ent for them to en­joy.’’

More than 40 res­i­dents at the aged care cen­tre met tur­tles, lizards, pythons, frogs and croc­o­diles thanks to a visit from Mel­bourne’s Mo­bile Zoo Rep­tile En­coun­ters.

‘‘We’ve been around for 10 years and are all about ed­u­ca­tion,’’ Rep­tile En­coun­ters Se­nior Wildlife Am­bas­sador Kara U’Ren said.

‘‘No mat­ter how old par­tic­i­pants are, we bring joy to them and ev­ery­one’s re­ac­tion is al­ways the same.

‘‘The older gen­er­a­tion re­mem­ber these an­i­mals be­ing around and be­ing in their back­yards.’’

Har­mony Vil­lage res­i­dent Anna Maria was lucky enough to hold Mr Smi­ley, the salt­wa­ter croc­o­dile, and said she thor­oughly en­joyed the visit.

‘‘It was fun, it wasn’t scary at all,’’ she said.

‘‘It was the first time I’ve seen a croc­o­dile and I was glad his mouth was tied shut when I held him.’’

A lit­tle wor­ried: Freda Brown holds Vic­to­rian car­pet python Vic­tor at Har­mony Vil­lage yesterday.

Pic­tures: Holly Cur­tis

Touch and feel: Tom Boschetti checks out frilled-necked lizard El­iz­a­beth dur­ing the Rep­tile En­coun­ters visit.

Go on now: Har­mony Vil­lage res­i­dent Thelma Watt touches stumpy-tailed lizard Rus­sell, held by Kara U’Ren.

Big boy: Vic­to­rian car­pet python Vic­tor is a non-venomous snake. The species con­stricts its prey be­fore con­sum­ing it.

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