Another element to housing Cuban crocodiles is grouping them. Cuban crocodiles typically live singly or in pairs at zoos. While they live well on their own and can live in larger groups, most zoos do not have enough space to house more than two Cuban crocodiles comfortably.
Here, we have two female-male pairings on exhibit: Blanche and Jefé, and Rose and Miguel. Behind the scenes, we have a female, Dorothy, and an 8-year-old male, Jésus. Jésus is too small to live with any of the adults, so he and Dorothy do not live together. Each Cuban crocodile has their own personality, but they are all very smart and in tune with their keepers.
We develop personal relationships with each of our Cuban crocodiles. Sometimes, our Cuban crocodiles will try to test their keepers. They know who brings them food and they’re very food motivated. So, when a keeper asks them to shift (move from one enclosure to another), they may not listen. Instead, they wait to see if the keeper will feed them anyway. You have to have a lot of patience to train a Cuban crocodile and learn to ignore those testing behaviors.