Hello. I am a three-metre white North American male alligator, I am 20 years old, I come from Florida and my name is Waldemar. This is the way the rare albino can introduce itself to the visitors in the Protivín Crocodile Zoo now. Protivín Zoo is the only one in Europe that has one. It was named by Waldemar Matuška junior who helped the keeper of Protivín Zoo, Miroslav Procházka, acquire it from the USA.
The christening ceremony took place on Wednesday 27 th June when the crocodile zoo started its operation in the extended areas. The number of terrariums has increased from the previous 11 to 25. The areas of the largest ones measure up to 120 square metres and people will see predators about five metres in length there, which has not been possible so far. For example, the largest representative of the crocodile kingdom in the Czech Republic – a male gavial 4.5 metres in length.
Matuška, who makes his living as a translator, had mainly used his language skills during the negotiations in the USA and also his contacts that he has in Florida, where he lives alternately. Even so, it had taken a year before they could take the white alligator to Protivín. "I am extremely grateful to Mr. Matuška for this. And I offered him the role of godfather so that I could repay him for it somehow. I am very happy that he has accepted and has even arrived in Protivín with his mother," said Procházka and he added that he had also wished for the albino to be named Waldemar.
The son of one of the most outstanding Czech singers returned the compliment when he said that he would be glad if the experts from the alligator zoo in Florida came to Protivín to see what a competitor was growing for them there.
Of course, due to the size of the animal, the christening was only symbolic. However, this did not apply to the previous programme when selected guests became godparents to smaller predators which the Protivín Zoo has managed to breed. However, all the animals had their jaws tied up with a band for safety reasons.
For example, the actress and presenter Mahulena Bočanová got to handle a Cuban female crocodile and she named it Santána. "It's a beautiful exotic animal and that is why I wanted to choose a similarly exotic name for it. I have chosen it after a friend of mine from Brazil," she said, giving the reasons for her decision.
Olga Matušková, in turn, christened a North American female alligator Oli. "In fact, that is the name my family and closest friends call me," she explained. After that she pleased all the attendees with a few songs in the country style accompanied by the KTO group.
Jaromír Havlíček, who has helped with the zoo’s enlargement as a designer, was also among the godparents. He named another Cuban female crocodile Míra. "I thought I would get a male, but Míra does suit a female as well," he said, not letting himself be knocked off balance.
They have just cut the ribbon on the new areas in Protivín and they are already making further, more ambitious plans. Specifically, the breeding of white alligators. "We already have a male and we are holding talks on the acquisition of a female now," said Procházka.
On 4th – 6th of May we were breeding sixteen crocodile´s babies of gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). It is first rearing in Europe and at the same time is first rearing outside the tropics.
Crocodile Zoo Protivín has great success with breeding endangered and critically endangered crocodile species. The first in Europe Zoo has bred a Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) in homozygous form a Mugger crocodile (Crocodilus palustris).
In the days from 16. 11 to 20. 11. 2015 We attended the fifth Congreso Internacional Tropical Animal Production at the Palacio de Convenciones de la Habana, where we presented our successful breeding of the critically endangered crocodile species.