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Published: 4/6/2013


Australian crocodile, Baru, prepares for debut at Toledo Zoo

The travel plans Friday for the Toledo Zoo’s newest resident — a 17-foot killer crocodile who came all the way from Australia — went off without a hitch. The saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, who has been named Baru, made the 30-hour plane trip from Darwin to Dallas on Qantas airlines, with stops in Brisbane and Sydney in between. The plane carrying Baru touched down at Toledo Express Airport at about 9:20 p.m. Friday. The crocodile had to clear Customs and inspection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before being loaded on a charter flight for the three-hour journey from Dallas to Toledo. He was accompanied for the entire journey by Adam Britton, the head of Big Gecko consulting company, an Australian firm that was hired by the zoo to handle and escort the crocodile’s travel. Using a forklift borrowed from the Lucas County Port Authority — Grand Aire’s forklift wasn’t big enough to hold the reptile — the crate was removed from the plane and placed in a 26-foot Ryder truck heated to 80 degrees to accommodate the creature.

The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia, Friday evening at about 9:20 p.m. at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton. The crocodile was immediately loaded into a truck bound for the Toledo Zoo. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia, Friday ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia, Friday evening at about 9:20 p.m. at Toledo Express Airport in Swanton. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia, Friday ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Dave Ruhl, Assistant director of facilities and construction for the Toledo Zoo, center, helps Grand Aire president Zachary Cheema, center, navigate the Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile's box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia. Enlarge | Buy This Photo Dave Ruhl, Assistant director of facilities and construction for the Toledo Zoo, center, helps Grand Aire president Zachary Cheema, center,...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The 17 foot-long crocodile arrives in its box after a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
CTY CROC06p Folders were nailed to the wall near the new habitat for the Toledo Zoo's incoming 17 foot-long crocodile. Enlarge | Buy This Photo CTY CROC06p Folders were nailed to the wall near the new habitat for the Toledo Zoo's incoming 17 foot-long crocodile.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
CTY CROC06p Toledo Zoo staff members open a viewing hole in the box containing the zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived Friday evening at the zoo in Toledo. Enlarge | Buy This Photo CTY CROC06p Toledo Zoo staff members open a viewing hole in the box containing the zoo's new 17 foot-long ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Adam Britton, head of the Big Gecko company, center, works with the Toledo Zoo staff to check on the wellbeing of a 17 foot-long crocodile that arrived Friday evening in Toledo. Britton had traveled with the animal as it made its way from Darwin, Australia, to Toledo. Enlarge | Buy This Photo Adam Britton, head of the Big Gecko company, center, works with the Toledo Zoo staff to check on the wellbeing ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Toledo Zoo staff remove the bindings and check on the zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived Friday. Enlarge | Buy This Photo Toledo Zoo staff remove the bindings and check on the zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived Friday.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Handlers check on the Toledo Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived Friday evening from a series of flights originating in Darwin, Australia. Staff members worked together to get the crocodile ready and settled into its new exhibit. Enlarge | Buy This Photo Handlers check on the Toledo Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived Friday evening from a series of ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The new habitat for the Toledo Zoo's 17 foot-long crocodile is fully prepared. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The new habitat for the Toledo Zoo's 17 foot-long crocodile is fully prepared.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The Toledo Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile arrived Friday evening; about a dozen zoo staff members were on hand Friday evening to help the crocodile into its new habitat. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The Toledo Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile arrived Friday evening; about a dozen zoo staff members were on hand ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Andy Odum, the assistant director of Animal Programs and the curator of herpetology, center, sprays down the Toledo Zoo's new 17 foot-long crocodile after it arrived at the zoo Friday evening in Toledo. The crocodile had been sedated for a series of flights that began in Darwin, Australia. Enlarge | Buy This Photo Andy Odum, the assistant director of Animal Programs and the curator of herpetology, center, sprays down the Toledo Zoo's new ...
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
The 17 foot-long crocodile, Baru. Enlarge | Buy This Photo The 17 foot-long crocodile, Baru.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH


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