Here at Crocodile Encounter we are all about education and animals. With our animals we are able to
spread a very good science message throughout the Houston area and beyond. In our travels we frequently get asked a myriad
of questions that we will address here. Crocodile Encounter is owned and operated by Chris, Bernadette, Bryson and Brooks Dieter.
We'll add to this FAQ from time to time so check it now and again for additional items.
1. Have you ever been bit by a crocodile? Well yes and no. Bernadette has been nailed a few times by hatchlings
and once by a snapping turtle. Chris has never been bitten. I'll let the readers decide what that means about the skill level
of the two animal handlers. Hehe:-)(Update- 2 seconds and 4 surgeries later maybe Bernadette is the
better animal handler.She is at the very least smart enough to know not to hold onto a big one).
2. What species of crocodilians are at your location?
We currently house 5 species of crocodilians but our primary species is the Nile crocodile from Africa. Other crocodilians
are the American and Chinese alligators, Siamese crocodile, and the largest crocodilian species in the world the saltwater
3. What type of events do you perform at? School shows
of all types, birthday parties, cub scout events big and small, colleges, summer camps, nursing homes, day cares, museums,
libraries, fairs and festivals. You name it and we have been there.
Do you sell crocodiles? No although we are not elitists in thinking only we should have them. It takes a special talent
to keep a crocodile and allot of committment of resources. If someone showed themselves up to the task we might consider it
after some intern work and alot of questioning. We wouldn't have ours and the community wouldn't be able to enjoy them if
someone didn't do the same for us a long time ago.
5. When you come
for a birthday party how many animals do you bring? We typically bring 10-15 animals that represent the four major
reptile groups. People can request animals if they choose. We use a standard sampling of the four primary reptile groups.
6. How long does the show last? There is no time
limit. Typically each show will last around 35-45 minutes to an hour depending on the size and age of the audience. We
setup, present the animals, tell some corny jokes, and answer questions at the conclusion of the presentation.
The birthday child also receives one of our staff shirts. It's their day and we want them to feel special. The show has a
great narrative that is really enjoyable for young and old.
is the largest crocodile at your location? We have a male that is between 11-12ft. However he will soon be eclipsed
by some of our younger animals that are doing some serious growing and have superior genetics.
How many different turtles does Crocodile Encounter have? At any one time we have 10-15 species
of turtles at our location with varying numbers of each.
9. How big an audience
can you perform for? We have given presentations to audiences of over 1000 individuals at one time.
These are primarily multi media demonstration events for schools, museums or scouts. At fairs and festivals we often
have even more in the audience. Crocs bring BIG crowds.
10. In your opinion
which of your show options is preferable onsite or offsite? This is really up to you. We think the onsite show is simply
an incredible event at the price. Nothing else in the Houston area, or heck, Texas, measures up. Both offer a very unique
edu-tainment experience. We perform hundreds of offsite events every year and the program is both educational and enjoyable
for all ages.
If you are a family looking for something to do its a great way to get close to the
animals without fighting a zoo crowd. Also Crockeeper is a one of a kind adventure.
you open to the public? Can we just drive up? Crocodile Encounter is currently open by appointment only for patrons
wishing to have a birthday party, school event, family night, or Crockeeper program. This will change in a year or so but
for now you must call to set up an appointment. We feel this provides a more intimate animal experience in contrast to
public zoos which are often overcrowded and uncomfortable. It also allows us maximum use of our manpower. Our principal concern
is animal well being and they deserve peace and quite away from crowds as well. We want you to remember and enjoy your time
with the animals. As such your group has private access to the animals.
does an onsite event operate? Do we enter and walk around?
this is what we feel really sets us apart from other animal facilities. All tours are guided with a knowledgable guide who
has spent allot of time onsite and can provide answers to your questions as well as stories about the animals themselves.
This also allows us to both stimulate the animals and monitor the interactions with your group. It creates a very rewarding
experience for the guests. We have roughly patterned our format after the Crococun Zoo in Cancun Mexico. We went there for
a visit and they offered only guided tours. We where very impressed and compared to the majority of crocodilain facilities
we visited stateside we felt they offered a very memorable interactive experience. We have of course put our own stamp on
Crocodile Encounter but we hope our guests leave with the same feeling we had during our visit to Crococun.
How did you get involved with this? I have no earthly idea. I'm from Connellsville Pennsylvania
and there isn't a crocodilian for a 1000 miles.I liked dinosaurs and Godzilla as a child and crocodiles
are the closest thing to that I suppose. I just truly enjoy looking out my window and seeing that level of awesome. Nothing
beats it. Bernadette married into it. Bryson and Brooks have been born into it all. They have no chance:-)
|Bryson was a crocodile for Halloween
|Big suprise huh?
14. Do you name your animals? Some of them have names, most do not. The crocodiles
are the most intelligent and personable so that lends itself to naming although the tortoises tend to beg for names as well.
The way it usually works is they get big they get a name.
15. Are your crocodiles
trained? Yes, all of our crocodiles are trained to respond to a certain sound. This will be demonstrated at all
onsite events. Some are better than others. The crocodiles we have raised are the best trained while animals we sourced from
other locations are less so.
16. What do you do when a young crocodiles grows
up? Get rid of it?OH NO! Never! Crocodilians start small and get big. As they grow we
cycle them threw different enclosures and eventually adult habitats. We think far ahead about this stuff. The crocodiles almost
become family members or more accurately a family that lives next door. Or a subdivision that exists next door.
What do you feed the crocodiles?We feed a rotating mix of pork,red meat, rodents, poultry,
wild game, and Mazuri crocodilian pellets. Ajax one of our big male Nile crocodiles prefers rabbits.
How far in advance should we reserve an event?People vary in this regard. Some plan well in advance,some
wait till the last minute. The sooner you call the more likelihood you'll get the date and time you want. We try to accommodate
everyone as a child's birthday only happens once a year. It never hurts to call and ask!
19. How do you arrive at the price of each event?Pricing is determined based on a variety of factors including
area competition from similar events, event type, and distance from Crocodile Encounter. Your not just paying for the show
in reality your paying for up-close access to some of the world's most amazing animals. These animals must be maintained even
when they are not 'paying the freight' so to speak. We do all the grunt work so you can experience a healthy crocodile(and
friends) at your leisure!
Before a single animal gets to your event they must be removed from
their enclosure, many of which are very large, and then secured into a travel container. In the case of our crocodilians it
is of course a capture that must be done with great care for both our handler and the animals well being. If we think the
animal is having a bad day we return it to the enclosure and bring another show animal. The animals are then packed according
to the weather which includes cold packs in summer and warm packs in winter. We then drive up to 100 miles one way to
see your birthday child. In short there is allot of prep work that gets done BEFORE we even arrive to do the show itself.
In allot of ways your event IS the fun part to us. It's also allot less dangerous than what we go through prior to getting
to your location. In the end we feel it is worth it. Birthday events are a great deal of fun for us and the audience always
loves them. The presentations are fun for everyone and we like doing them.
you show up? In the 8 years Crocodile Encounter has been in business Crocodile Encounter
has missed only two events. Even then it wasn't for a lack of trying our GPS simply couldn't locate an address and
we drove around 2 hours looking for it but by that point it was to late for the party. The other was during the birth of our
second son Brooks. The moral is we will try our hardest to get there even if we have bad directions but reserve the right
to miss in the event of childbirth.(and we are not planning on having anymore children so you are ok in this regard) Your
childs party comes once a year, you plan allot for your event, we will not disappoint you. It is astounding how many people
ask us this question as it never even occurs to us not to show up for a scheduled event. Around Thursday or Friday each and
every week we begin to receive calls from the parents of children who are having parties that weekend. They just want to ensure
we show up as so and so other animal business burned them last year. WE WILL ALWAYS SHOW UP!
We will not disappoint your child on his special day. Two missed events out of nearly 300+ shows annually for nearly a decade.
The odds are way in your favor! Give Crocodile Encounter a try, we won't disappoint you.