Oom Len is our largest,and best known, resident. People often comment 'that has got to be the biggest crocodile I have ever seen!'. He has been with us since we opened our doors in 2008.
We first received the call from Mpumalanga Parks Board, saying that they had captured this enormous crocodile in Malelane, where he had been eating cattle at a veterinary quarantine camp...no wonder he was so big! I remember driving through Hazyview and passing the MTPA vehicle, trailer behind, and doing a triple take (if that is possible) when I saw the size of this magnificent creature. I did a u turn and raced back to the park gesticulating wildly to Rick that he must see the SIZE of this croc!!!!! I was so excited...and knowing that his alternate fate was to have been someone's trophy....glad to give him a big pond with a beautiful girlfriend (Princess) where he could live out his life safely.
Upon his capture he measured in at 4.1 meters.....not the longest croc BUT he weighed 980kg - and that is what makes him SO impressive, not his length but his bulk.
He was extremely shy for the first few months, at the first sign of anyone near his pond he slid into the water and sank to the bottom. These days he is a confident gentleman and completely unphased by the presence of people.
He is named after one of our biggest supporters and friends, whom sadly is no longer with us. But we know he was so happy to have a crocodile named in his honor, and Oom Len's gentle presence is a reminde of his generosity and support on a daily basis.
We don't know Oom Len's age, nor can we imagine the life that he has led and the amazing things he has seen....but we hope this iconic,magnificent predator will be with us for many years to come.
Carolyn Budai, owner and passionate animal person.