Sat, Dec 25, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Zoo sends 20-man team on croc snatch mission
動物園動員二十人 徒手抓鱷魚搬家

Taipei Zoo staff sit astride a crocodile as they subdue it in preparation for transportation, in Jhuci Township, Chiayi County on Dec 17.


A man from Jhuci Township, Chiayi County has donated two rare crocodiles to Taipei Zoo. It took 20 zoo staff and plenty of rope to subdue the ferocious creatures.

The Malayan gharials, which were reared by Juan Chin-bang and his son Juan Mao-sheng, are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The zoo staff decided not to anesthetize the beasts, reasoning that their slow metabolism would mean a lot of time would be wasted waiting for the anesthetic to take effect. The staff started work at 8am, and by 10.30am both crocodiles had been safely packed in crates and hoisted onto the back of a truck.

The Juan family started breeding crocodiles 30 years ago in line with the government’s agricultural policy, and now have over 100 of them. However, with animal protection being a popular topic right now, and with the rumble of passing traffic affecting the hatching of the eggs, the family took the advice of a friend and decided to donate two crocodiles to a zoo.

Zoo staff traveled down to Chiayi in August and selected two crocodiles, which were then isolated and put under observation for four months. Last week, 20 staff, assisted by two cranes and the Juan family, accomplished their mission of packing up the crocodiles for transportation.

Zoo staff said that because crocodiles are cold-blooded animals with slow metabolism, it would take a day for the anesthetic injection to take effect, which is why they decided not to bother with it. But since crocodiles are aggressive animals that can launch devastating and rapid attacks, the staff had to remain on guard at all times.

The zoo staff decided to first remove the 3.7m-long female. A sack was thrown over her eyes, her mouth was tethered shut and then 10 men rushed at her and sat astride her back. Following the taking of a blood sample, measuring her length and some other procedures, she was put in a wooden crate and hoisted onto a truck.


1. metabolism n.

新陳代謝 (xin1 chen2 dai4 xie4)

例: Drinking alcohol can slow down your metabolism.


2. crate n.

一箱 (yi4 xiang1)

例: A crate of soft drinks was delivered to the party.


3. isolate v.

隔離 (ge2 li2)

例: The foreign minister announced his strategy to avoid being isolated on the international stage.


The male is 4.7m-long and weighs around 700kg, while the female weighs 400kg. The two newcomers are already on display at the zoo.










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