Crocky-Wock Bids us Goodbye..
20th May 1998. Our last and most memorable voyage of the season. This time, however, instead of tourists we escort students on our crocodile 'n' bird watching trip; they will also help with the replanting of mangroves saplings. But besides the students, we have another very special guest...
Very carefully, my partner Neil, and I lift the 1.3 metre crocodile and step out of the boat onto the wet clay bank. The students watch intently. Our feet slip and sink into the soft clay but our grasp remains firm --an earlier gnash from Saurian teeth has been lesson enough! Placing the reptile on the bank we untie the knots that bind its feet and jaw...
Crocky-Wock is free at last!
For two years it was confined to a tank barely larger than itself, along with 11 hardshelled turtles and exhibited to tourists in a house in Parra. Neil and I assisted the Forest Department in a raid on the premises and impounded the animals. (It is illegal to keep crocodiles as they are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.)
The turtles were released into a lake, while Crocky-Wock was introduced back into its natural habitat in the Cumbarjua mangroves.
Often, on our Croc-O-Do-Be-Doo cruises, with a boat load of tourists all peering excitedly through the overhanging branches and scrub on the banks of the Cumbarjua, at a lazy leathery beast, who is clearly convinced that he is invisible... the familiar thought crossses our minds... could this be one of our very own Crocky Wocks?