In this month’s The Latest Shush, Community Ecology Intern Ellie Coleman summarizes the excitement, the shyness and the sassiness of the CRC Crocodile Ambassadors.

In the last few months, the CRC Crocodile Ambassadors, Gilly and Sam, have really become settled in their new home. Landscaping works have been carried out to provide shelter and black soil laid down for a comfortable basking surface for them. Recently, these ‘homely touches’ have bought the ambassadors out of their shells, with Sam continuing her training and Gilly making more appearances.

Sam starts target training with Research Biologist, Jonathan

Sam has been working closely with CRC Director, Dr. Marisa Tellez to re-establish the bond that they held previously. In the last month, Sam has begun her work with the target and has learnt the command ‘stay’. Training our ambassadors contributes to their enrichment and allows us to carry out health checks on a regular basis.

Very excitingly, Gilly has been feeding in our presence in both daylight and at night after an initial period of timidness after moving to his new home. We are slowly working with him to get him used to his new environment and his new behaviours show that perseverance is paying off! At the moment, he is appearing, being spoken to, being approached and food being left for him for his efforts. We can’t wait to see him get back to his usual smart and feisty self!

The bond between Aemon and CRC Director Dr. Marisa Tellez was made clear this week when he used his tail to splash an intern that was feeding him, twice! Aemon continues his training and demonstrates that crocodiles are not given enough credit for their intelligence, especially as they have the ability to recognize people they trust and work with them well. He continues to be shy with interns, but his training has continued. He is impressively agile given his blindness and responds to sound for feeding and training.