SIX baby saltwater crocodiles that arrived in Ireland would have been put down had it not been for a reptile zoo in Kilkenny.
A zoo in New Zealand originally imported six crocodile eggs from Australia with the hope that one would hatch and could be used for education.
All six hatched successfully, posing a problem for the facility which was unable to look after them.
during a holiday in Ireland last year, one of the staff from the Butterfly Creek in Auckland visited the Reptile Village Zoo in Kilkenny.
Impressed with the centre's educational work, she offered to transfer the animals to Ireland.
Although the zoo's director James Hennessy only required two, he took them all to spare them.
The first Saltwater crocodiles to ever arrive in Ireland had an arduous journey flying from Auckland via Sydney, Abu Dhabi, London and Dublin.
"It's the longest-known transfer of any crocodile in the world," said James.
The creator of the zoo is going to great lengths to ensure the arrivals acclimatise to their surroundings and has been swimming with the crocodiles helping them get used to human presence.