Crocodile Conservation in Australia
Saltwater Crocodiles are a protected species in Australia. Once regarded as endangered they have been protected for over 30 years. Prior to that they were hunted extensively to the point of becoming extinct.
Breeding programs were established and over a period of decades large numbers of crocodiles were released back into the wild.
Dr Graham Webb operated one of the most active breeding programs in Australia out of Darwin in the Northern Territory. He and his staff gathered saltwater crocodile eggs from nesting locations in the Northern Territory at great risk to themselves.
Today Dr Graham Webb operates Crocodylus Park in Darwin and feels that we now have too many saltwater crocodiles in the wild and their numbers should be culled. It would appear nobody wants to listen to him.
Surely if the man responsible for bringing the saltwater crocodile back from the edge of extinction announces that we should now control their numbers somebody should listen to him.
There are various crocodile farms around Australia now. These croc farms have established breeding programs and farm the crocodiles for a thriving domestic and international industry for the crocodiles meat and skins.
Tourism also plays a part in most crocodile farms business income so tourists can visit crocodile farms in a number of locations in Australia to learn about and to see saltwater crocodiles.
If visiting a crocodile farm you will see handlers feeding very large crocodiles by either dropping food in their mouths or making them jump vertically out of the water and also to chase them onto land.
You should keep in mind that a saltwater crocodile cannot be trained and it cannot be made into a pet of any sort. For it's entire life it will represent a threat to your well being.
A crocodile acts only on instinct. When you see them performing a trick it is a food response, while the crocodile is very clever it cannot be trained to perform on que for anything other than a food response.
A crocodile will always be a wild creature that only acts on instinct and no matter how long a human works with one it can never be trusted. The handler can only predict what the crocodiles instinct will make it do.
While visiting many crocodile farms all actions performed by a crocodile interacting with a handler was either for food or was either a response driven by the crocodiles instinct.
Handlers learn the crocodiles responses and know how the crocodile will react, however there is always an animal that is an exception to the rule and we hear of handlers being mauled or killed from time to time.
When handling one of the world's largest, most powerful apex predators you really need to have your wits about you.