Simmo's summer spruce-up
At 500kg and nearly five metres long, a slight exhibit change for Simmo the Estuarine Crocodile can be quite the difficult task for keepers!
Some of us may have been ‘summer cleansing ‘ and Simmo is no exception…well at least that’s what we’ve been doing to his outdoor exhibit! Our hard working team have been sprucing up the outdoor area where Simmo can often be spotted basking in the sunshine. Renovations include a new edge around his pool, a full pool clean, upgraded filter system and there’s new turf for him to enjoy under his reptilian feet!
Senior Zoo Keeper Brendan McGill describes the main update to Simmo’s bedroom as the addition of astro turf to the shallow end of his billabong. This feature was added to help protect Simmo’s feet, reducing the pressure on the underside of his feet as well as providing a nicer area to bask on when he lays in the shallow water. Simmo tips the scales at 500kg so tasks like entering and exiting the pool can be strenuous for the largest living reptile species in the world! Luckily for Simmo – his dedicated keepers are always finding ways to ensure he lives in the lap of luxury.
His outdoor exhibit has been designed to closely replicate the Kimberley region of Western Australian where Estuarine Crocodiles are found in the wild.
What seems like a minor vacation for Simmo has been a great opportunity for Zoo visitors to get up close to his prehistoric features! Scary you may say? Simmo’s indoor exhibit features a 4.6 metre long, 32 millimetre thick, water-tight, armourglass window allowing both above and underwater viewing. Native fish can also be seen sharing Simmo’s exhibit!
In order to replicate the feeding patterns of crocodiles in the wild, keepers change Simmo’s diet from weekly 4kg feeds of meat and fish in the summer, with the occasional 10-15kg feed, to no food for around five months during the cooler months of the year.
Simmo has been with us here at Perth Zoo since 1998 after being removed from Darwin Harbour by wildlife officers who had public safety concerns about his behaviour. He has been a huge ‘Perthinality’ ever since!
And if you’ve ever wanted to smile at a crocodile, come say hello to Simmo at the weekly keeper talk at 12pm every Sunday.