Perth Zoo’s Senior Reptile Keeper, Brendan McGill, said “Saltwater or Estuarine Crocodiles are the world’s largest living reptiles and watching them feast is an incredible sight.”
Emulating natural feeding patterns, the 500kg, 4.8 metre long crocodile has had little to no food during the cooler seasons but feasts as the weather heats up. His meals will weigh anything from 4kg to 15kg!
Like many other reptiles, Simmo’s activity levels and food requirements drop when the temperature does. “During winter as Simmo conserves his energy we often get asked if he is real, but when people see him feeding they’re in awe of his power and sheer size.”
‘The species are truly incredible. The feeding sessions provide Zoo visitors with the opportunity to see these prehistoric predators in action and gain an appreciation and respect for them.”
“They have the ability to launch half their body out of the water during an ambush attack,” said Brendan. “Simmo typically launches about two metres into the air during feeding times.”
Simmo is a special member of the Perth Zoo family. “This year we are celebrating caring for him for 20 years,” said Brendan.
The adult crocodile arrived at Perth Zoo in 1998 after being removed from Darwin Harbour by wildlife officers who were concerned about public safety. He is estimated to be around 60-70 years of age. In his younger years he earned a reputation for being anti-social, having resisted any attempts to be introduced to a mate, preferring a bachelor existence.
Simmo’s ‘bachelor pad’ includes a heated pool and AstroTurf to protect the soft underside of his belly as he hauls out onto land. The temperature controlled salt water pool allows Simmo to spend 365 days of the year in his lush oasis.
Simmo will leap out of his specially designed billabong to grab his lunch every Sunday at midday until the cooler weather sets in. Zoo visitors are advised to get to the crocodile exhibit early due to Simmo’s popularity.
Perth Zoo is committed to crocodile conservation and educating people about crocodile /human safety. The daily talk teaches people how to be ‘crocwise’ when traveling in Northern Australia.