A Real Jurassic Park

ZooRex

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
506
Hello Everybody! It has been a long time since I've created a topic here. I figured a good way to get back into the swing of things would be to share my experience volunteering for and working at The Dragonwood Wildlife Conservancy, an internationally renowned non-profit organization dedicated to herpetological conservation and research. As the title suggests, at times it really does feel like a real Jurassic Park.

I started volunteering in the Winter of 2012 and since then typically make two to three trips a year. Cleaning and feeding are two constant objectives but any given day can have any number of other tasks. Some times its quite hectic and others are more laid back but no matter what it is always incredibly rewarding. If you told my 10 year old self that I would one day work with such rare and beautiful creatures I doubt I would be able to contain my excitement.

First up is a shot of a male yacare caiman (Caiman yacare). I was able to capture this on a sunny morning shooting safely through the fence which is a skill I've perfected over the years.


Here we have "Pa" our big male African Slender-snouted Crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) enjoying a snack. Pa is one of the absolute oldest captive crocs on record as he recently turned 89 years old.


One of our youngster Paleosuchus trigonatus taking a bath. The common names for this genus are a mess so its better to use the scientific name. While their closest relative is a dwarf species these guys do in fact grow to decent size.


Our big mama green anaconda (Eunectes murinus). This photo shows her rather under weight as she did not eat on her own for several months until she settled into her new home. She is now eating quite well and getting bigger.


Up next is a male Cuban iguana (Cyclura nubila) enjoying a cherry tomato. While we are most recognized for our work with crocodilians, Cyclura are a serious passion for us as our director has been working with the genus for over 50 years.



And lastly (for now) a male cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) in his lagoon. Commonly feared across the zoo community this highly interesting species does not deserve the bad reputation they are given. Understanding how to work with them all comes down to learning from the animals themselves.


For those who would like to know more about us please check us out on facebook. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation through education and truly enjoy being a part of the animal loving community.
 

ZooRex

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
506
Yes, we regularly produce broad-snouted caimans and morelets crocodiles. In the past we have hatched Cuban crocodiles and African slender-snouts among others. Our Cyclura breeding project is currently in the early stages. We also breed a few species of tortoises and a few more species of snakes. I was very fortunate to be able to watch a clutch of morelets crocodiles hatch one day. I am very excited to see what else the future holds. Dragonwood Morelets Egg.jpg
 
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