A court in Germany has ruled that children should not be allowed to swim with crocodiles at an interactive zoo. Adults will still be allowed to get intimate with the deadly reptiles at the Crocodile Zoo in Friedberg, Hesse.
On 2 November, the zoo lost an appeal against Darmstadt regional council's decision to prevent people under the 18 coming into contact with the crocs, along with some alligators.
Previously, children had been able to put on a wetsuit and jump into the crocodile pools along with a guide from the zoo. Videos showed them swimming alongside the sharp-toothed critters, which seemed not to mind.
Now the experience will only be enjoyed by adults, following a court's decision to side with the council. Even then, the zoo has been ordered to fully explain the potentially fatal risks to each swimmer before they dive in.
The council initially intervened on 25 August, putting a stop to children's 'Jungle' parties, in which groups of kids were able to get up close and personal with the animals.
The zoo appealed, pointing out that no one had ever been injured by the tame crocs and arguing that the presence of a special zoo keeper in the water negated any risk.
But a court in Giessen rejected this appeal on Thursday (2 November), stating that dangerous animals shouldn't be allowed to rub shoulders with kids, The Local reported.
It is not the first time the zoo has had a brush with authority. In 2014, a conservation agency tried to shut it down following the unexplained death of an elephant.
However, the court sided with the zoo on that occasion, finding that the incident did not demonstrate it was unable to properly take care of its animal residents.