Thanks to Roald Dahl and numerous wildlife documentaries, it’s generally accepted that crocodiles aren’t the fussiest of eaters.
But in the UK’s only crocodile zoo, set up by British croc obsessive Shaun Foggett a decade ago, the lunch options are surprisingly gourmet, and include a feathered quail.
The only issue is that the (deceased) bird is attached to a clamp usually used by street sweepers, which I’m holding. I dangle the quail over the edge of the enclosure from my vantage point 5ft up and watch the reptiles eyeing me with a look of malevolence and patience.
One of the creatures at Crocodiles Of The World, which operates out of a converted former warehouse in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
One leaps out of the water at dizzying speed and snatches it with its jaws, sounding like somebody slamming a barn door. Crocodiles Of The World, where I am having a VIP keeper experience, operates out of a converted former warehouse in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. It houses a cafe, playground and more than 150 crocs, along with alligators and caimans, many of which have been rescued from private collections where they had been mistreated.
‘There’s no doubt that a human is legitimate prey for a crocodile,’ says Terry Miles, an ice hockey player turned crocodile expert who works at the Cotswolds zoo, as I begin throwing quails into the peckish predators’ mouths.