Residing within a World Heritage Site contributes to some amazing sightings this in turn also means that we get to share and experience some amazing events with passionate people.
Just yesterday after dropping our clients of after a Boat cruise up the St Lucia Estuary we where in for quite a treat. Our vessel is moored at the dredger harbour and in getting their we have to travel through a narrow channel, a channel with residant Hippo’s and basking Crocodiles a nerve racking experience I must let you know.
On approaching the channel a small vessel could be seen, with waving arms of gesturing Do Not Enter we quickly engaged our motors to stern (reverse), remaining a distance from the channel we could just make out who was on the vessel, Xander and John to KZN Wildlife croc specialists. It would seem that they where in a tug of war, Xander on the bow of the vessel with a rope in hand and John manning the outboard.
Yes a croc was attached to the rope, calmly and delicatedly Xander and John managed to get the Crocodile to the slipway. As luck would have it I had my daughters onboard with me, what excitement, questions and reservations they all had.
We managed to moor our vessel and get to the croc that was by now tied down and had a cloth covering his eyes to try and calm him or her down. The girls first question why have you caught the crocodile has he bitten someone ? The guys where accommodating and answered each ones questions. The reason for the croc being caught was due to the transponder no longer working, the batteries only last for 12 months, we are now removing the unit so that we can retrieve the data.
Measurements, blood samples and a general check on the condition of the crocdile where tacken, sex yes a female. Interesting information about the Nile Crocodiles found in the St Lucia Estuary is that they are smaller compared to those found in the Jozini, Ndumo area, red meat factor they call it, more fish, birds and smaller prey could be the reason for their size.
Then the youngsters where given an opportunity to touch and feel the skin of the crocodile, see the croc inhale and exhale and grunt. The texture of the skin is amazingly soft with a kaleidoscope of colors for camouflage.
What an experience and respect for the guys that have dedicated their lives to saving our Crocodiles.