At eighty-five it's asking a lot to expect "Mumma" to sparkle in a suddenly new environment, but Port Macquarie's new resident is doing just that.
"Mumma" is a crocodile, all 14 foot of her. Trussed up with sticking plaster wound around her jaws for three days, she arrived in Port Macquarie on Thursday night after being bundled into a specially constructed trailer box at Townsville.
Townsville folk didn't want to lose her, for she'd been their Mumma for more than 20 years, but the drought had dried up her water-hole and the zoo people were forced to sell her.
It made the Townsville folk feel a little better to know Mumma was headed for her own heated pool at Port Macquarie, and an occasional change of diet from 15lbs of meat per week to some lunches of fish.
Mumma will be one of the many attractions at Marbuk Park, out near the golf links. There are 60 crocodiles there now, plus a consignment of death adders. One of the proprietors is still recovering after its arrival - not from a bite but the price - $25 a snake.
Ken Underwood, managing director of the company; Brian Barnett, park manager; and young Terry Underwood, made the trip to Townsville to bring Mumma here. Except for two displays of temperament, and some severe tail-lashing, the trip was uneventful.
Now settled in nicely, Mumma moves around rather gracefully in her 82 degree heated pool as the crystal clearness of it at the moment shows her off splendidly.
The structure housing the crocodile pools is strongly built with viewing windows to bring the public close up. Marbuk Park will open mid-November.
New bridge at Hibbard
Work has commenced on the building of a new bridge, on the northern approach to Port Macquarie from the Pacific Highway, which will eliminate a dangerous right angle turn. This new pre-stressed concrete structure will replace the existing Humpty Back Bridge, about 2.5 miles east of the Pacific Highway. The is being carried out by Hastings Shire Council and the full cost of the project is being met by the Department of Main Roads. Shire engineer, Mr W. Russell said yesterday he anticipated construction of the 70 foot bridge, costing $22,000 would be completed by the end of the year. However the approaches to the bridge, costing $62,300, may not be finished until early in the new year.