Kids can no longer participate in one of the Friedberg Crocodile Zoo’s biggest attractions — swimming with crocodiles — after a recent German court ruling, the Local reports.
However, the court ruled last week that adults can still participate in the zoo’s wildest attractions including swimming with crocodiles without a cage or barrier and an activity they call “headtrick” where a person actually sticks their head in a small alligator’s mouth, according to the Local.
Crocodile Zoo, which allows crocodiles to roam freely on the property, has been in operation since 2001 in Friedberg, Hesse, according to its website. It says that crocodiles aren’t the man-eating monsters they’re made out to be, so they want customers to “understand” the crocodiles though up-close and personal activities, including swimming with the reptiles without a cage.
But conservation authorities disagree, and ruled that areas without barriers between crocodiles and humans are “taboo,” Hessenschau reports. After the ruling, guests over age 18 can enter areas with free-roaming reptiles only after signed permission. Zoo owners have fought back, arguing that nothing dangerous has happened and the animals are tame.
Crocodiles are one of the deadliest animals in the world — killing an average of 1,000 humans per year, according to the BBC. They are far more dangerous than sharks, which kill about 80 people a year.
The recent court ruling means kids can no longer participate in “jungle birthday parties” where kids could take up-close photos with the crocodiles.
News of the Crocodile Zoo’s swimming exhibit has been shared all over the world.
“The zoo should start promoting high school graduation packages,” one person joked on Reddit.