Parque Zoologico del Centenario trains veterinary and animal handling staff

Photo: YAI

With the aim of updating the knowledge of zoo personnel, the Mérida City Council strengthened the skills of the team of veterinarians, biologists and animal guards through the theoretical-practical course “Containment maneuvers in crocodiles” given by the British specialist Peter Prodromou.

The techniques put into practice at the Parque Zoologico Del Centenario facilities were carried out with crocodiles of various sizes and included the use of a neoprene muzzle, special bags for capturing crocodiles up to 1.80 meters (6 feet) long, as well as ropes and bicycle tire tube to close the jaws of the reptiles, among other accessories, which will allow the park staff to carry out safer containment maneuvers for them and for the specimens.

Prodromou, who generally works in Africa with four-meter-long crocodiles, stressed that the containment techniques that he shared with the group attendees are alternatives that he has developed through his 24 years of experience.

He pointed out that regardless of the accessories used in the handling of crocodiles, none is one hundred percent safe, which is why experience and knowledge should be prioritized when containing these reptiles, since carelessness could take them to receive a bite of 621 kilos of force.

Accompanied by Israel Cervantes Gutiérrez from the Yucatan Fauna Conservation, Management and Education Association (CMEFY), who shared the techniques of using the rope to contain crocodiles, Peter Prodromou conducted the training course in the management of the different accessories that he uses for maneuvers with crocodiles and the technique.

Animal keepers, biologists and veterinarians joined the expert to actively participate in the containment practices, which allowed the staff of the Centenario Zoological Park to learn how to use the neoprene muzzle and the capture bag, as well as how to take samples and determine the sex of a specimen.

In this regard, Peter Prodromou highlighted that the correct use of techniques in the containment of crocodiles reduces significantly the stress for these animals.

“With practice, they will get faster and faster. A maneuver of this type should not take more than two minutes”, he recommended.

Likewise, he thanked the City Council and the Yucatan Fauna Conservation, Management and Education Association (CMEFY) for inviting him to teach this practical theoretical workshop, since in this way he can contribute knowledge through his anecdotes and experiences.

The course was also aimed at personnel from the Cuxtal Ecological Reserve, Semarnat, Profepa and the Ecological Police of the Municipality of Progreso, thus achieving the strengthening of inter-institutional work for the benefit of wildlife.

Finally, Peter Prodromou accompanied by Israel Cervantes Gutiérrez also taught the same course at the Animaya Bicentennial Zoological Park.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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