…an awesome little zoo in Oxfordshire, UK.

1) You obviously don’t keep reptiles outdoors in low temperatures, you idiot

Two (unfrozen) West African dwarf crocodiles.

That answered my first question about a British crocodile zoo. All the crocs, caimans, and other leathery lovelies are housed in either a toasty warm building or the hefty crocodile house opposite.

2) A tomistoma is not a type of cancer

At first glance I thought was a gharial, but it’s otherwise known as a “false” one, which isn’t quite as endangered but still Vulnerable. CotW has a hatching area for their breeding programme, as well as an adult enclosure at the back of the crocodile house.

3) The Nile crocodile almost went extinct in the 1940s-1960s

Can you guess why? Hunting, of course, because we can’t stand anything being more dangerous than us apparently. Or embarrassing our handbags with its skin.

4) A snake exhibit should be at least as long as its body length

A beautiful reticulated python.

Even if it prefers to coil in a heap in the corner, it needs to be able to stretch out in full should the need arise.

5) What’s the most terrifying thing a reptile keeper can find (apart from an empty cage)?

…or a waking dragon?

Calcified eggs. I.e., horrible spiky monstrosities that are extremely painful and dangerous for poor mama reptile. These can happen in snakes if they are “power-fed” – given as much food as they can eat, rather than spacing it out naturally every couple of days or weekly like in the wild.

(Does it show that the only talk I was there for was the snake one?)

6) There aren’t just reptiles in a crocodile’s world

Meerkats, a kookaburra,

otters, cotton-top tamarins and a fishing cat were among the warm-blooded residents at the zoo.

7) You should go with a group of children to slow you down

A slender snouted crocodile, nice and toasty in its house.

The zoo is well designed and laid out, but small. A group of over-excited children would spend long enough at each enclosure for you to be there for all of the talks throughout the day! I wasn’t, and based on the quality of the “Meet the Snakes” talk, I regret that.

Spectacled caiman thinks I should too.

8) Even though the reptiles pose beautifully, your best shot will be of a mammal.

C’est la vie!

TLDR

Well this was a short one, so shame on you if you didn’t read it.

Crocodiles of the World is a great all-weather mini-zoo with a good variety of animals and impressive layout. My only complaint, if it even is one, is that many of the talks are spaced out during the day, and unless you’re with a group that takes their time, there might not be enough to do in between. Then again, it gives me another excuse to go back!

 

Featured image credit: All photos are my own on this one. Happy for you to use in exchange for a link back to my site!