ICR History
I've been rescuing crocodiles for the last 30 years - it all started with my Dad & Mum, Bob & Lyn Irwin who established the Queensland Fauna Park in 1970 and built the park up to be one of the best collections of reptilian fauna anywhere in the country. Dad always recognized crocodiles as important apex predators, playing an integral role in maintaining the north Queensland ecosystems and featured both Australian species as core displays at the park. Dad, Mum & I frequented north Queensland on scientific collection trips and soon gathered important knowledge on what was then a species which had had its population decimated through legal hunting. With the protection of Saltwater Crocodiles, it was inevitable that numbers would increase back into areas from where they had been removed. This increase in crocodile numbers coincided with an increase in agricultural and human expansion in the region. An increase in crocodile/human interactions was often met with calls for a resumption of hunting of the species. The loss of human life through a crocodile attack often led to the wide spread slaughter of all the large animals in a river system.The Queensland Government has initiated crocodile management programs over a number of years. I was directly involved in the East Coast Crocodile Management Program through the late 1980's and early 1990's, removing dozens of large animals that were considered problem or rogue crocodiles from the Ingham and Burdekin districts over this period. This alleviated the immediate conflict and allowed me to involve and educate the locals in the region about living with crocodiles. In conjunction with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff at Lakefield National Park, myself and Terri Irwin recently carried out a successful and innovative crocodile deterrent procedure on a large male saltwater Crocodile. Crocodile/human confrontations continue to occur to the present day with increased human activities along the waterways and coastline of north Queensland. The sight of a large crocodile close to human activity usually leads to the removal of that individual. This short-term solution only leads to a disruption of the crocodile's natural social structure and in most cases does little to educate the local residents about living with this important predator. With the evolution of the Queensland Reptile Park into Australia Zoo and the success of the Crocodile Hunter television programs, the Zoo through the International Crocodile Rescue (ICR) is now in a position to play an increased role and make a greater contribution to the management and conservation of crocodilians throughout the world. We have been and are currently helping with the management and conservation of crocodilians in Sri Lanka, Mexico, the South Pacific, USA, Zambia, South-east Asia, South Africa and Australia.



Our Goal
To promote awareness and conservation of the worlds greatest apex predators.



Equipment
We currently have enough equipment to conduct numerous separate assessments/captures simultaneously.

Croc One
This 75' beauty had been personally designed by Steve Irwin to deliver the ultimate in comfort during your wildlife expedition. This fair dinkum research vessel will give you a once in a life time opportunity to experience Steve Irwin's extreme crocodile, shark and large wildlife work. This exclusive tour is for up to six people. 'Croc One' features two double bed berths and one bunk bed configuration.

Three "Croc boats" jet black aluminium dinghy
Two 10 ft punts
Two inflatable dinghys
Twelve "Soft Mesh" traps

Six "Floaters" floating traps
Three Landcruiser 4WD with long distance fuel tanks
Four crocodile transport boxes capable of handling animals up to 16 feet in length
One satellite phone
Camping equipment for up to eight people

All this gear is on standby 24 hours/day, 7 days/week and can be activated in 5 minutes.


Educational Objectives

Catching a problem crocodile is only 1/2 the problem. The educational follow-up is equally as important. Australia Zoo and the Crocodile Hunter documentaries are effective and inspirational educators. Zoo staff have always taken great pride in delivering educational animal presentations that are entertaining and exciting. Experience has shown that this promotes the educational message in such a way to reach and excite people who might otherwise not be attentive to conservation messages. This forum is well suited to educate visitors to the Zoo who may well travel to areas that contain crocodiles, however, the educational objective of the ICR is to promote a greater understanding of crocodilians by residents living in crocodilian territory.For any conservation program to be effective, it must have the support, understanding and ownership of the human inhabitants in that area. With an understanding of this principle, myself, Terri and our team take great pride in donating much time, money and effort to all the humanitarian issues necessary for people to live harmoniously with potentially dangerous wildlife.


Conclusion
The conservation of the worlds 22 species of crocodilians is important for the continued survival of all species on this planet. It also offers one of the greatest challenges for wildlife managers by trying to balance the needs of a large apex predator with those of an increasing human population. The highly experienced crocodile staff at Australia Zoo, through the ICR, will continue to contribute further to the conservation of crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials. We not only believe that it is possible to effectively conserve all species, we also believe that it is possible to promote Saltwater Crocodilians as an icon species. We have no doubt that it is possible to change the general publics perception of these important animals from one of fear to one where its presence in an area is embraced as something to be proud of.Human life is easily the most important aspect of any wildlife management program. Australia Zoo is committed to the challenge of Crocodilian management without financial restraint.

 
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