Harry Potter fans, brace yourselves for Slytherin, the newest addition to the Crocworld Conservation Centre’s fascinating family.
Slytherin, named after the pure-blooded wizard Salazar Slytherin in the Harry Potter series, is a Green Basilisk lizard, indigenous to South America.
Slytherin House at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was named after this cunning wizard with a rare ability to speak with snakes. Prior to the wizard leaving Hogwarts, he had created the Chamber of Secrets, concealing a basilisk.
Basilisk lizards get their name from a mythical creature, said to be half rooster, half lizard. They have some features similar to roosters, the most prominent one being the crest on their heads. Green in colour, they grow up to 80cm in length.
These reptiles are often referred to as Jesus Christ lizards because of their unique ability to run on water. They have long toes on their back feet. Parts of their skin are fringed, and when they unfold, it prevents they from sinking into the water like other animals. This allows them to run on water, for almost five metres at a time.
Basilisks belong to the iguana family. They eat plants and fruit, and some insects too. Although they can run on water, they are excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to thirty minutes. They use this ability to hide from predators like snakes and birds.
Slytherin has comfortably settled into his new home, a split-level aquarium exhibit at Crocworld Conservation Centre and is eagerly waiting to meet his fans.
“It is the first time that we have a Green Basilisk lizard at our Centre, and we can’t wait to show him off to our visitors,” said Crocworld Conservation Centre’s Martin Rodrigues. “Slytherin has made himself at home, and seems to be basking in all the attention he is getting since his arrival,” he added.
Visit Slytherin and all his new feathery and scaly friends at Crocworld Conservation Centre, an ideal day’s outing for visitors of all ages. Amble through the vast gardens with its colourful aviaries, or spend time learning from the knowledgeable staff, about the many interesting residents at Crocworld.
The Centre also boasts the trendy Le Rendez-Vous restaurant, as well as the well-stocked Izinyoni Indigenous Nursery.
For more information about Crocworld Conservation Centre, visit www.crocworld.co.za, @CrocworldCC on Twitter, or Crocworld Conservation Centre on Facebook.