Farm Hand Megan Comerford with a 4.8 meter crocodile. Picture: Marc McCormack
Farm Hand Megan Comerford with a 4.8 meter crocodile. Picture: Marc McCormack

Up close and personal with a saltwater crocodile

WHILE most people usually try to stay a safe distance from crocodiles, Megan Comerford loves to work up close and personal with salties.

The 27-year-old is a farm hand on the crocodile farm and a wildlife keeper at Hartley's Crocodile adventures.

"I'm responsible for the care of three to four thousand crocodiles varying in age, from little hatchlings to the big breeders on the farm," she said.

Each day involves checking on the crocs to make sure they are fine and healthy, that their water was good and she also has to clean the pens and feed them.

"Crocodiles pick up routines easily," the Trinity Park resident said. "They expect to be fed on certain days so we stick to their routines."

Part of her job also involves removing eggs during nesting season and she said that kept her on her toes.

Hartley's Crocodile Farm can't take anymore big males. Picture: Marc McCormack
Hartley's Crocodile Farm can't take anymore big males. Picture: Marc McCormack

Before working at Hartley's, from February last year, she was a vet nurse in Cairns and also Hervey Bay.

As a vet nurse, Ms Comerford looked into different animal care-related courses and decided she wanted to work with wildlife.

She also has a degree in zoology and ecology.

"I definitely wanted experience working with crocs. I've always loved them," she said.

"They're an apex predator and the evolution that has gone into these reptiles is amazing."

Ms Comerford said that without crocodile farming people would poach wild crocodiles for their skin.

Crocodile farms have pretty much killed the black market for crocodile skin, she said.

"My favourite is working with the hatchlings, seeing them grow, seeing them starting to eat," she said.

Newly hatched baby crocodiles (one day old) from Hartleys Crocodile Adventures. Picture: Josh Woning.
Newly hatched baby crocodiles (one day old) from Hartleys Crocodile Adventures. Picture: Josh Woning.

When they're very young, and not dangerous to us, it's very cute."

News Corp Australia


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