Kimberley crocs to Claremont
THE Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park in Broome was a pioneer in harvesting crocodile skins when it secured a contract with fashion brand Hermes 15 years ago.
“We were the first people to put 1.5m-2m crocodiles in single pens,” park owner Valerie Douglas (74) said. “It was unheard of at that time. “It means they all have ‘first grade’ skins.”
Mrs Douglas, the wife of the late Malcolm Douglas who died in 2010, said they initially had 1000 single pens on the farm but now had 500.
“They stay in the single pens for a year but some might be ready before that,” she said.
Hermes uses the skins to make products like jackets and bags.
The park has more than 3000 crocodiles of the five main species on site but the saltwater is Mrs Douglas’ favourite.
“They are an animal with attitude,” Australian’s only female crocodile farmer said.
“I like Maniac (5m), he never stops attacking no matter how much food you throw at him.”
The Douglas’ started the park in 1980, opened it to the public in 1983 and started farming the animals at the end of that decade.
About 600 crocodiles, mostly males, are born at the park each year. Two baby crocodiles will make their way from the farm to the Perth Royal Show at the Claremont Showground from September 27-October 4 to be part of guest town Broome’s display.
Chris Baker feeds the crocodiles at Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park.