Become croc hunter for day

WATCHING a baby crocodile hatching from its egg is one of the most amazing natural events you may experience. For the next four months, you can witness the birth of a dinosaur at Koorana Crocodile Farm, between Emu Park and Rockhampton.

From now until early April, you can make a booking at one of our four Visitor Information Centres in Yeppoon and Rockhampton to participate in an educational tour.

In 1981, John and his wife Lillian established Koorana Crocodile Farm, the first private enterprise crocodile farm in Queensland, officially opened by the National Parks and Wildlife Minister. There was no precedent or state government policy for the establishment of crocodile farms in Queensland, so approval was granted in 1981 for John to collect rogue crocodiles from the wild to establish the farm.

In 1992, the farm was both national and state winner for a business with fewer than six employees in the Australian Government and Telecom Small Business Awards. Later accolades included 1992 winner Tourism Retailing (CQSGBR), 1994 winner Significant Local Attraction (CQSGBR), 2007 CQ winner Manager of the Year (Australian Institute of Management) and 2007 winner Qld Regional and Communities Awards. In 2011, John Lever took out the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award at the Ergon Energy Central Queensland Southern Great Reef Tourism & Business Awards.

Crocodiles bred over the past 30 years at the Koorana Crocodile farm have been placed at 20 other other tourism attractions throughout Queensland and NSW which have also sought John's ongoing consultancy. Wildlife parks, zoos and resorts benefiting from his expertise include Hamilton Island Resort (Whitsundays), Bunya Park Zoo (Brisbane), Koala Town (Gold Coast), Ocean World (The Pier, Manly NSW), Australian Agricultural Parks (Moree), Illawong Fauna Park (Mackay), Gondwana (Southbank, Brisbane), Dreamtime Reptile Park (Bundaberg), Underwater World (The Wharf, Mooloolabah) and Neptunes Coral Cave (Hervey Bay).

Numerous television documentaries within Queensland, Australia and overseas have also sought John's expertise, with him giving freely of his time to assist in the promotion of not just our destination, but the state and country. Film consultancies and on-site filming include David Attenborough (Trials of Life), American Broadcasting Commission (Crocodiles), New Zealand TV (Crocodile Territory), MTV (Road Rules Downunder and Wild Boyz), BBC Wildlife Unit (Blue Planet and Close Encounters), National Geographic & ABC (Croc Country four-part series), Blue Heeler Films (Russell Quoit Celebrity Challenge), ABC Natural History Unit (From the Heart), Yates Productions USA (Outback Jack) as well as a host of Queensland travel shows including Channel 9's Getaway.

Koorana Crocodile Farm has built up a diverse business including not just a tourist attraction of morethan 3000 crocodiles, welcoming on average 35-40,000 visitors a year, but the addition of an abattoir for sale of crocodile meat, developing portion control cuts of meat for the hospitality industry both locally and within Queensland.

Crocodile skins are tanned in Japan and France but manufactured locally, with crocodile products being sold to duty free stores throughout the country. Koorana Crocodile products are exported to the USA, Japan and Europe with these markets expanding.

Every Koorana Crocodile farm product is proudly badged with its location within Queensland and Australia.

Until next time......

Mary Carroll, CEO, Capricorn Enterprise

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