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New crocodile exhibit sinks teeth into Port Stephens tourism scene

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A new crocodile exhibit is set to sink its teeth into the burgeoning Port Stephens tourism industry.

Following approvals from Port Stephens Council and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Port Stephens Animal Adventures will soon establish an interactive display, featuring the saltwater reptiles.

The latest attraction at the Bobs Farm facility also allows locals and tourists alike to “get up close and personal” with the giant crocs, including 4.5-metre Rocksteady, named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character.

Construction of a snorkel pool is expected to begin by the middle of the February, in readiness for the first batch of crocodiles mid-2024.

“We are very excited for this new venture,” Port Stephens Animal Adventures director Andrew Tindale said.

“Visitors will have an opportunity to be near the crocodiles… they can check them out while they swim under water or view them from above.

“We’ll start constructing big enclosures for the reptiles soon and expect to receive them in May or June this year.”

Rocksteady, from the Koorana Crocodile Farm, found fame via Croc College series on the ABC. 

“Crocodiles are amazing creatures,” Mr Tindale said.

“Rocksteady comes when he’s called, interacts with people and can be hand fed.

“They have incredible adaptations, like they can slow down their own metabolisms.

“They are a lot smarter than people give them credit for, as all animals are.”

Guests will be able to pat hatchlings and mid-sized crocodiles or admire them from afar.

Each large pool is designed to give the animals lots of room and be headed to a toasty 27C year-round.

The crocodiles are ectothermic, meaning they get their warmth from their environment. 

They’re believed to have existed for hundreds of millions of years and the Estuarine Crocodile is the largest living reptile in the world.

An average male can grow up to six metres, weighing 1,100 kilograms. 

Mr Tindale said the exhibit offered a great chance to learn more about the misunderstood creatures.

“There’s no better education than putting people face-to-face with animals,” he explained.

“If they physically interact, they have a far better understanding and more compassion towards them.

“We see that here.

“We consider ourselves the most interactive animal refuge in the country… and house the only underwater cafe in the world.”  

The reptiles will join hundreds of creatures at Port Stephens Animal Adventures, which was previously known as the Shark, Ray and All Creatures Rescue at Bobs Farm.

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