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    Interview with Zoo Director Shawn Foggett

    Project Title World of crocodiles keep their animals tanks safe and water tight with SPI

    Project Brief

    “It was great to be called to work on tanks that had been properly designed with the right products from day 1.” (Richard Atkinson, SPI)

    • Create the right environment for crocs.

    The product:
    • SPI Polyshield HT100F— UB

    The result:
    • 3 years without leaks

    Our Solution

    What prompted you to open world of crocodiles?

    I have had a passion for crocs since I was a child. They have been around for so long and yet are so endangered and not enough is known about them. I want to raise awareness, further my own knowledge and reduce fear in the public.

    Why are we so scared of crocodiles?

    They are the classic ambush predator, and that makes for a good story. They can sneak up on you without making a sound and are incredibly quick.

    Why crocs as opposed to another animal?

    Not 100% sure why. My earliest memory of them is one catching a wildebeest on TV. Scary but exciting.

    What special considerations do you need to make when keeping crocs?

    Safety and the environmental parameters need to be right.

    How dangerous are the animals here?

    All crocodiles can be dangerous to people. We have a few which would look at a human as potential prey. The hatchlings are least dangerous because they are small and still scared of humans. In the captive environment they become used to people. Some even learn their names and come to eat when called!

    I imagine that you can’t just start a zoo and that you need a license?

    I have 18 years experience in keeping crocodilians. We are regulated by Defra who issued our zoo license. We are a member of BIAZA British and Irish Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums.

    When Defra inspect what are they looking for?

    High standards of animal welfare and public safety.

    How much thought do you need to put into the layout of their territories?

    You need to consider the basking areas. With multiple animals you need to break up the site lines, a lot of thought goes into nesting areas and how will we manage them in their environment.

    How sensitive are they to environment?

    Very – if you get it right they will thrive! A lot of places get it wrong and sadly the crocs are long suffering animals they can get growth deformities, stunted growth, illness and critically all this comes down to the right environment.

    What is the easiest reptile to keep?

    A leopard gecko, a beaded dragon is also ok for a first reptile. We have one here, although it is visiting a school today.

    Planning to do anymore tanks?

    Yes, we would use the approach again and it is in the 5 year plan to add more tanks.

    What can you tell us about these tanks?

    The tanks have been in place since the end of 2013. Right at the start of the Zoo’s story. All of the 7 enclosures have regular maintenance checks and we keep an eye on the silicon seals. They have not leaked.

    SPI’s product is brilliant and I have already recommended it to Heythrop Zoological Gardens and Cotswold Wildlife Park

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