Saturday, 29 March 2008

Dear Anonymous

THANK YOU for your recent comment on the entry entitled 'Johnstone River Crocodile Farm'. You might notice that I have decided not to publish your comment, on the grounds that you have used your anonymity as a mask for some quite strong wording, for which otherwise you would have to accept responsibility.

I would like to accept that your message signifies a turn-around in the establishment mentioned in the title. Your claim that you witnessed only unconditional love for the animals at the farm is hopefully a promising sign, but I refuse to back down on my comments. I was distinctly uncomfortable during my own tour, and thus at least in the past the farm has been less than satisfactory. Whilst you speak the truth in stating that "troublesome crocs" were rescued to protect them from being shot by national park rangers due to the risk of human interaction, being taunted for entertainment is not much of an alternative. I might also add that, while I do not know the methods used at Johnstone River, the methods used as standard to kill crocodiles in farms are far from humane and are about as wholesome and loving as your aforementioned worst-case-scenario: a shot in the head. If you don't believe me, click here. It is nice to know that you feel so much love and care goes into making handbags.

Thank you for highlighting the factual inaccuracies in the entry. It is true that crocodiles gain their energy from the sun and thus by being in a greenhouse this energy is retained, therefore I rescind my comment on the lack of energy that they receive - I concede that I cannot remember why I wrote that. However, this is not direct sunlight, the benefit of which is that they can escape into shade when too hot. Granted, they can cool in the waters of their enclosure, but this setup is hardly natural. Crocodiles are not social creatures and thus by being kept in these conditions a great deal of stress is imposed on them. I may be "naïve" (which, by the way, contains an umlaut), but I can at least use the correct form of 'their' and I can construct a complete sentence.

Your advice regarding my phobia of snakes has been taken on board and promptly disregarded. If you had read the blog properly, you will have noted that I was taken to the farm by a tour company and did not visit of my own accord. Even if I had refused to enter I would still have witnessed the spectacle of Mick Tahone throwing a crocodile at a girl in our bus. As for deliberately avoiding "an interactive reptile park that clearly states what the show involves and is about", I would like to state that just because a show is interactive does not mean that I expect to have a snake draped around me unexpectedly from behind, and nowhere in the title 'Johnstone River Crocodile Farm' is there the word 'snake'.

Thank you for your time. If the farm has improved as you suggest, then this has my approval, for I was thoroughly unimpressed on my visit six months ago. I noticed on researching this response that the Johnstone River Crocodile Farm is now up for sale. How unfortunate.

Yours sincerely,

Simon

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