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Rocky the Saltwater Croc 'Goes Under' for the FIRST time for Dental Surgery at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

  • Friday 25th March 2022
  • WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

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Rocky, our resident Saltwater Crocodile, ‘goes under’ for the first time for dental surgery

We are celebrating the successful dental surgery of Rocky the Saltwater Crocodile, who underwent the extraction of 7 teeth, going under general anaesthetic for the first time.

Rocky was in the very best hands, with an expert team of 10, including; resident veterinarian at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Dr Mike Cannon, Head Keeper, Marina Betrus and special guests from Cairns Crocodile Handler, Shane O’Brien and Veterinary Surgeon, Annabelle Olsson, who has a PHD in crocodile anaesthesia.

Dr Mike said’ “Rocky’s abscess was a naturally occurring ailment. He’s lucky to have had a team of resident experts, and guests flying in, to give him the very best possible care. The surgery went extremely well. Rocky is already looking quite happy and is well on his way to making a full, tooth-ache-free, recovery.”

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Rocky’s training program, using positive reinforcement, patience and understanding, enabled head Keeper Marina Betrus to call him up voluntarily, helping the team to situate him in the best spot for a 3 hour sedation and 30 minutes of dental surgery, complete with crocodile dental x-rays.

Marina said, “We’re glad we were able to keep Rocky calm ahead of the surgery. Rocky is a beloved character here at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour, often seen dozing in has large pool or giving himself a bubble stream massage.  It’s wonderful to see him recovering well and basking under his heat lamp”.

Founding and supporting the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund, special projects include supporting injured and orphaned Wombat rehabilitation, Koala research program and Cassowary habitat - rainforest regeneration.

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