Highbury crocodile catcher looking for unemployed recruits

Pete with a croc and one of the children helped by school of croc

Pete with a croc and one of the children helped by school of croc - Credit: Archant

A crocodile catcher who travels the world extracting dangerous reptiles from communities wants to change the lives of a group of Islington’s young adults.

Pete on a croc

Pete on a croc - Credit: Archant

Pete Prodromou, Highbury’s answer to Steve Irwin, has been working with dangerous animals for more than 15 years and recently began helping to rehabilitate disabled children in Uganda by allowing them to work closely with lions, snakes and monkeys – with the eventual goal of catching a crocodile.

Mr Prodromou, known across the borough as Safari Pete for his work teaching children in primary school about reptiles, now wants to take a group of unemployed teens with him to Uganda to work on the project, called School of Croc.

Mr Prodromou, 32, said: “I’m looking for teenagers in the borough to take part in a crocodile project. It would be a real life changer for the four that I choose – an amazing cultural experience.

“Uganda is quite raw and you’re living within the communities, working with them. You get a real understanding of their culture.

“I want them to feel that they’ve accomplished something.”

Mr Prodromou grew up in gangs and said his experiences as a teenager have left him wanting to help young people avoid crime and violence.

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His life changed course after his first encounter with a giant reptile – he caught an alligator in Florida as a 15-year-old.

Since then his work has included catching a crocodile in Africa which had killed a 15-year-old boy on Christmas Day 2011.

The four chosen recruits would help Mr Prodromou teach children in the safari park important skills such as how to identify dangerous snakes.

“My fear was of knives when I was in a gang, but now I catch crocodiles. It was being in the communities that changed my life, seeing other people with wildlife and understanding the difficulties that they have.

“It’s a real challenge for any community to co-exist with wildlife.”

Mr Prodomou is in the process of approaching colleges about the project but if you’re interested you can email gazette.news@archant.co.uk

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