The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, founded in 1976 by Romulus Whitaker and few other like minded people is a public Trust managed by a Board of Trustees. The CrocBank is located 40 km south of Chennai city on 3.2 hectares along India’s east coast road with the Bay of Bengal as a backdrop. The high aquifer on the sandy coast provides sufficient water supply and the proximity to the major ancient temple complex and tourist destination at Mahabalipuram ensures annual visitation. The Bank was initially established for the conservation and study of Indias three endangered crocodilians: the mugger, Crocodylus paluster , the gharial, Gavialis gangeticus , and the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus.
Starting with 30 mugger adults, the Bank has bred over 5000 and now holds over 2400 crocodilians of 14 different species. By 1987 the CrocBank developed a much broader focus, and became the Center for Herpetology, Indias premier institution for herpetofaunal conservation, research and education. Currently besides crocodilians, the Bank maintains 12 endangered species of turtles and tortoises, five species of snakes, including the King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah , water monitor lizards, Varanus salvator salvator , two species of pythons and albino cobras. Housed in enclosures very similar to their natural habitat visitors can get a close view of how these reptiles live in the wild.
Over the years, the CrocBank has supplied zoos with crocodiles, crocodile eggs, snakes, water monitor lizards, iguanas for breeding programs and for exhibits. In doing so, it has helped ensure that populations in the wild are not utilized for this purpose and remain unaffected. Surplus reptiles at the CrocBank are available for transfer and exchange.
Visitors to the CrocBank include school and college groups, local and foreign tourists, besides amateur and professional herpetologists from within India and overseas. Apart from the entertainment value, the signboards and other visual aids sensitize people to the importance of reptiles in their ecosystems. School and college groups receive special talks and demonstrations including the chance to cuddle a baby crocodile or our amiable pythons.
The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology is one of the largest reptile zoos in the world. It is spread over eight and a half acres of land and is home to over 2500 reptiles. We give you an opportunity to have an interactive experience with the various denizens at the zoo. Apart from our guided tours we have a wide variety of other activities for all ages that are both informative and fun.
For outdoor nature enthusiasts, the spacious Croc Bank grounds are covered by luxuriant coastal dune forest and provide a haven for native wildlife, including large breeding colonies of water birds and a secure nesting beach for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.
Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
Centre for Herpetology, Post Bag No 4, Mamallapuram-603 104, Tamil Nadu, S. India.
Ph: +91-044-27472447, Fax: +91-044-27472958
For more information please visit: http://www.madrascrocodilebank.org/
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