‘CROC man’ Shaun Foggett has opened up a new zoo in larger premises.
Mr Foggett started his collection of crocodiles at home in Deer Park, Witney, but the attraction has grown in popularity over the years, leading to the creation of Crocodiles of the World.
It is Britain’s only crocodile zoo and now houses more than 80 crocodiles, alligators and caimans from 13 different species in the new location on the former Foxbury Farm site on Burford Road, Brize Norton.
It opened to visitors on Friday.
The move from premises at Crawley Mill, near Witney, to a former farmshop and agricultural barn means Mr Foggett can cater for increasing popularity and open seven days a week.
He said: “West Oxfordshire has a good tourism industry being right on the edge of the Cotswolds so we have a massive through-flow of tourism from London and Oxford.
“Although most of our visitors come to purposely visit us, our new location will allow us to also benefit from passing traffic.”
The zoo does not just house crocs, but also has monitor lizards, iguanas, turtles, tortoises and fish.
Mr Foggett said it had been his dream to open his own zoo dedicated to the care, breeding and conservation of crocodiles.
He has travelled the world learning about them and today is recognised as one of the few licensed and trusted crocodile-keepers in the country.
He got his dangerous wild animals licence from West Oxfordshire District Council in 2001.
Crocodiles of the World received its zoo licence for the former Crawley Mill location three years ago.
Mr Foggett added: “From environmental health to tourism and planning, all the departments I’ve dealt with at the district council have been helpful.
“I’m a West Oxfordshire resident and it’s been good to have their support and it’s enabled the business to get to where we are.”
Council cabinet member David Harvey said: “Crocodiles of the World is a real success story.
“I am pleased the council has given excellent advice over the last 14 years to help the business.
“It is good news that it is staying here and I am sure the business will continue to prosper.”
Mr Foggett has been the subject of TV shows, with his quest to open the zoo airing on the Discovery Channel in 2011.
Channel 5 broadcast a documentary called Croc Man in 2011.
- Crocodiles of the World is open every day between 10am and 5pm
- For more information and to book tickets visit crocodilesoftheworld.co.uk