It was a few days after CRC relocated Crocodile Ambassadors Gilly and Sam, and the infamous turtle known as Mad Max from their previous home at the Savannah Guest House (SGH) to their new home with the CRC in southern Belize (for the full story, check out: https://crocodileresearchcoalition.org/2020/12/a-load-of-croc-special-edition-placencia-welcomes-gilly-sam-mad-max/). Carol Foster who had known these animals for about 30 years started to reminisce about some of unique stories and interactions these animals had with visitors, one of them including the legendary Crocodile Hunter himself, Steve Irwin.
It was 2003, and Steve Irwin had visited the best little zoo in the world, The Belize Zoo, for their 20th anniversary. Given the involvement and support of the Foster’s in helping Sharon Matola establish the zoo as well as being next door neighbor’s, Steve headed over to SGH to meet Richard and Carol Foster.
It was not too long after Steve and his crew’s arrival at SGH that Richard had to introduce the legendary crocodile hunter to his crocs (later known as Gilly and Sam). Richard took the chicken out of the fridge, and began banging a bucket to let the crocs know it was feeding time. Richard took Steve over to their pond enclosure where Gilly and Mad Max came up to the land to get some food. Apparently, Steve fell in love with Mad Max, but who wouldn’t? A turtle with an attitude that pushes crocs aside to get food and bites at their face if they don’t move!
Shy Sam did not appear despite Richard banging on the bucket. Even from way back then, Sam has been shy with new people. Richard told Steve she had a cave under a tree and that’s where she usually hangs out during the day. Richard mentioned despite her shyness, Sam has a feisty attitude and can get aggressive if someone gets too close to her cave. Steve looked at Richard and said he wanted to meet Sam. See if he could break her shyness. Next thing you know, Steve Irwin is in the water and dives to go find Sam in her cave.
“SPLASH- SPLASH- SPLASH” All you see is the water splashing and Steve Irwin pokes out his head and yells, “Crikey!!! She almost bit my face of!!!” And Richard yelled, “I told you she was feisty! Maybe you should get out of the pond now!” Steve agreed,
CRC wanted to end 2020 on a positive, and entertaining note so we hope you enjoyed this end-of-the year A Load of Croc blog. From all of us at the CRC, have a crocin’ New Year!