Are you scared of crocodiles? 🐊
Well, you don't need to be scared of record breaker Cassius - he may be the world’s largest living crocodile, but he is also a very good boy!
In fact, his keeper told us that he’s an absolute sweetheart with... “dreamy” eyes. 👀
Hard to believe?
Let's find out more about him...
Cassius lives at the Marineland Melanesia wildlife zoo on Green Island in Australia and his record was verified on 1 January 2011, when he was measured in at 5.48 m (17 ft 11.75 in).
💡That's also the height of the average male giraffe, the tallest land mammal in the world!
Cassius is an Australian saltwater crocodile, which is the largest, most awe-inspiring of the species.
Toody Scott, who works at the Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat for his grandfather George J Craig, is personally responsible for Cassius’s care... and they are best friends!
He absolutely adores Cassius: “His eyes are so big and dreamy you could get lost in them forever.
“He has a gentle nature unlike most but we have to remind ourselves he can be cunning as a croc and the best way to win his heart is through his stomach, after all we are in ‘croc country’ and it’s always best to stay ‘Crocwise’.”
What is more, Toody believes Cassius could be as old as 120! 🤯
However, there is no way to know for sure...
After he was originally captured from the Finniss river, in 1984, he was transferred 3,200 km (1.988 miles) by truck to the zoo in 1987.
It was all for his own safety, as he had become a target and it would be dangerous for him to stay in nature!
Cassius may have grown even bigger since his record was awarded in 2011, but... no one dares to get close enough with a measuring tape. 😬
Ever since he entered the record books, Cassius has been living the life of luxury as the zoo’s star attraction!
As Toody told us: “Becoming a Guinness World Record holder certainly shot Cassius to ‘Croc-Stardom.”
We often get people visiting from around the world to say ‘G’day’ and children from all over Australia that want to come back just to see Cassius the living dinosaur.
Cassius is one of 16 crocs living at Marineland Melanesia, a small habitat that takes in crocodiles for the safety of themselves and others.
Some of the males are as big as 4.5 m, but Cassius is still by far the largest and heaviest one, being around 1 m longer and 500 kg heavier than the rest!
Crocodiles don’t require large amounts of food and, even though Cassius is huge, he only eats around 4-5 kg of food a week. 🐟
He is offered small pieces of fish and chicken every day, especially when he's being a good boy, and then once a week he will have a whole large fish, chicken or another big piece of meat.
His keepers do everything they can to make sure Cassius is comfortable in his home, like checking the water temperature and quality.
Also, his enclosure needs to be kept as quiet as possible so Cassius can get his beauty sleep to cope with his busy life in the spotlight...😴
Toody told us: “He is often featured in our public presentations, demonstrating a crocodile’s ability to track prey under water using sensors located on their snout.
“Submerged and honing in on slight movement made with a piece of food, he will snap into action in a demonstration that recreates natural instinctual hunting and feeding behaviour.”
But don’t let his performances fool you - Cassius actually has a very big heart and he even "adopted" a baby croc once!
That's right - Cassius once took care of a baby croc named Zina who hatched out of her egg and made her way into Cassius’s home.
The keepers were terrified that Cassius would eat the baby but, to everyone’s surprise, he instead took Zina in as his own and raised her over the next 15 years!
He would even give her his own large pieces of food instead of taking them for himself and would swim around with her sitting on his large head. ❤️
Today, there is a large and widespread number of saltwater crocodiles in the world...
But did you know that, just a few decades ago, Cassius's species was almost extinct?
Our sweet Cassius lives a happy life and he recently celebrated his birthday – a day chosen for him by the zoo - and was treated to a large tuna head for lunch. 🐠
He also had his annual health check by Professor Sally Isberg, Managing Director of the Centre for Crocodile Research!
According to Sally: “Cassius is such a beautiful, big, magnificent boy and he’s obviously got such a vivid history to tell.
“He’s been here now for over 35 years, but he was taken from a situation in the wild where, I feel, that he obviously wasn’t very happy.
“[...] He’s a happy, healthy boy, he has such a personality, he gets called over from one side of the pen and he happily wanders over.
"He’s got an amazing relationship with George Craig and the rest of the crew here and he’s just an absolutely fascinating character."
As part of her annual health check on Cassius, Sally measured the stress levels in his poo - yes, you read that right, and he’s super chilled out. 🤣
Sally does that with all the crocs at the zoo, but she admittedly has a soft spot for Cassius. Apparently, he is "the star of the show!"
Lastly, Sally told us: “To me, crocodiles are just one of the most remarkable species on the planet.
“They are just amazing animals, they are perfectly suited to their environment but they do get a bad rap. They are apex predators and when people put themselves in the wrong position, [crocodiles] are often the ones that are blamed for the outcome [...].
“This is why having places like [Marineland Melanesia] are so important to be able to educate people on crocodiles.
“People get to interact with them face-to-face, up close, and be educated on their true magnificent beauty!”
We love Cassius and we can't wait to see him grow even larger and stronger! 💪
What's your favourite animal?