Crocodile park will go deep into history of species
Park boss pledges to offer unrivalled insight into species
Malawian-themed lakes, a natural history museum and a huge aquarium open day and night will be among the highlights of the new Dubai Crocodile Park, its manager has said.
Mohamed Oueslati said three African-themed clear water basins, each separated by a waterfall, will be home to some 300 freshwater crocodiles.
About 200 are currently at a freshwater farm in Germany that breeds for game reserves, safaris and zoos around the world.
“The theming will be Malawian lakes – crystal clear waters, very colourful fish,” Oueslati said.
“The natural history museum about crocodile evolution, species and predatorial habits – these are the highlights.”
The attraction on the edge of Mushrif Park in Mirdif will consist of a main building connected to a walkway with three basins with waterfalls in between each. There will also be islands for the crocs to swim between. Two other buildings serving as an exhibition on the evolution of crocodiles and an aquarium, illuminated for night visibility, are among the other highlights unveiled. Oueslati said: “The aquarium will be the biggest aquarium ever made for crocs, with 25 metres of acrylic filled with half a million litres of water.” An exhibition exploring the species’ Jurassic roots will chart 10 million years of crocodile evolution from the dinosaur age and illustrate their predatory and survival habits. Visitors will also have the chance to hold baby crocs and learn first-hand about their feeding and hunting habits. Oueslati said: “Our crocodile keepers are collecting some babies and will present them to the public. “At one month they are like lizards, very small, 25cm. This kind of exercise is a educational tool for kids.” The park was slated to open in early 2017 but Oueslati said the launch will now be later next year. He said bringing so many reptiles to the country will be complex: “The challenge is the transport and the weather adaptation, these are our main concerns. We cannot move the crocodiles during the hot season.
“So we need to do it in the spring or in the fall.” The community is expected to provide a glimpse into how the hierarchy among the species operates, which rangers and the visitors will have the chance to study.
Oueslati said: “What is interesting is how they behave, their social life. It’s all about what’s happening with this population of crocs, their space control, the dominant males, the females nesting.
“Visitors will feel something different. They will feel a certain proximity to nature and will feel a very particular atmosphere in general.
“It will be totally different from anything you’ve ever seen.”
BITE: A full-size crocodile