During my Dussehra holidays, I went for a wildlife camp to Madras Crocodile Bank-in Chennai. I went with a group of children of similar age. It was my first experience without my parents. I learned a lot about crocodiles, snakes, turtles and tortoises, lizards and frogs. I went to the Irula village and met the Irula tribesmen. They specialize in catching snakes. I saw and held snakes there. I learned that there are Striped Keel,
Bronze Back snake, Yellow Anaconda, Rat snake, and Crabs, etc., giant lizards like the Komodo Dragon, water monitor, Iguana, and crocodiles such as Gharial, marsh or the mugger crocodiles and salt-water crocodiles. One among them nicknamed, Jaws, belonging to the largest crocodile family, salt-water crocodile measures 17 feet and is 49 years old.
I learned that all crocodiles are cold-blooded and get a part of their energy from the sun. Therefore, basking in the sun is important for them, especially during winter; a reason they appear to be lazy during the day and active at night. Romulus Whitekar, the founder of Madras Crocodile Bank, gave us a lot of information about the crocodile bank. Rom is a famous snake catcher and conservationist. The crocodile trainer is the only person who feeds the crocodiles by calling them.
I used to get up early at 5 am every day to spot snakes and tortoises. I saw a large tortoise. I fed it bananas. At the park, I learned about the life of tortoises and turtles. The tortoises had laid eggs and we went looking for them. Interestingly, when they are still babies we do not know whether they are male or female.
Madras Crocodile Bank is a zoo for reptiles. It is in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The Croc Bank, as it is known, was started to save Indian crocodiles from extinction. It is the biggest crocodile zoo in India where visitors can see 14 species of crocodiles and alligators, different species of turtles, snakes and giant lizards.
It was a memorable visit filled with fun and education.