Visitors to The Australian Reptile Park were treated to a jampacked program of events over the October school holidays, but nothing on the program quite matched the spectacle that was watching the Park’s General Manager, Tim Faulkner, go toe to toe with resident big croc, Elvis, as he made repairs to the reptiles’ enclosure.
Dubbed ‘Australia’s Crankiest Crocodile’, Elvis’ health was at serious risk after it was discovered that a seal in the enclosure pool had cracked, causing it to lift and become a hazard.
A similar incident almost a decade earlier saw Elvis lose a toenail after it became lodged in the gap, and given the difficulties associated with delivering hands on medical care to the deadly, 500kg animal, park staff opted to undertake the repair as quickly as possible.
Queue Faulkner entering the water to begin the repair process as a small army of staff worked to distract the crocodile and to watch Faulkner’s back while we worked.
“I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t racing.
“With an animal as dangerous as Elvis, we needed to take every safety precaution necessary to ensure I could go home to my family afterwards,” Faulkner said.
“It was absolutely necessary for me to get in the pool to fix the gap before Elvis hurt himself.
Elvis gained world-wide attention in 2011 when he ate a park lawnmower, earning him the nickname Australia’s Crankiest Crocodile.
Since then, he’s become an ambassador for his species and is one of the most popular animals that reside at The Park.
Media release, Oct 8
Amanda Woodbine, The Australian Reptile Park