Perth Zoo Farewells their Estuarine Crocodile
Perth Zoo has said farewell to one of their oldest animals, Estuarine Crocodile, Simmo, who passed away in his exhibit yesterday.
Simmo was estimated to be around 70-years-old, the typical life expectancy for this species. At over 4.75 metres in length and tipping the scales around 500 kg, he often drew a crowd and was a favourite animal among visitors.
Simmo had recently been unwell and was being closely monitored by his keepers and vets. It was suspected that he had gastrointestinal issues as he had started to refuse his food.
Like many other reptiles, Simmo required little to no food during the cooler seasons, but his feedings were set to increase when the weather warmed up.
Simmo’s feeding sessions provided visitors the opportunity to see the world’s largest living reptile species in action, increasing appreciation and respect for them. Many visitors were in awe of Simmo’s power and sheer size when they watched him leaping up for his food. At his prime, he could launch himself two metres in the air.
Simmo was an incredible ambassador animal and a very special member of the Perth Zoo family. He was under the care of the Zoo’s Australian Fauna team for 20 years.
In March 1998 Simmo arrived at the Zoo following his removal from Darwin Harbour by wildlife officers who were concerned about public safety in the area. Before coming to the Zoo he spent several years at other wildlife parks, including Janamba Crocodile facility in the Northern Territory. Simmo had a reputation for displaying anti-social behaviour, resisting any attempts to be introduced to a mate.
Once it became apparent that Simmo preferred the bachelor life he was moved to Perth Zoo. He was housed in his own ‘bachelor pad’ that included a heated pool and artificial turf, soft enough to protect the underside of his feet and belly.
Despite the very best care, Simmo’s health deteriorated quickly. His well-being was always of great importance in the decades that he spent at Perth Zoo, right up until the end.
Simmo may have been a fierce predator but he made many people smile, and will be remembered as a beloved crocodile!