SHORTLY after I moved to Cyprus plans were unveiled for a 50 feet high statue of Aphrodite at Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock) in Paphos to encourage tourism.
During the following years a number of other proposals were put forward to attract visitors to the island, including: a Disney-style theme park near Oroklini; a conference centre at Monagroulli incorporating a record-breaking 135 metre high statue of an angel; and a seaplane landing and take-off facilities and a series of recreational developments in Paphos, none of which got off the ground.
The latest ‘initiative’ comes from a consortium of Israeli and Cypriot businessmen who plan to build a theme park in Psematismenos with 1,000 Nile crocodiles.
It appears that the Israeli authorities want to get rid of crocodiles in their country and their slaughter has already been banned – prompting the company to seek other markets.
The consortium has met with the Minister of Agriculture, Nicos Kouyialis, who has instructed Veterinary Services to study the proposal to ensure it guarantees the safety of visitors and residents. Obviously any escaping reptiles could pose a serious risk to humans and the environment.
The crocodile farm in Israel opened in 1987, but was ordered to close following the escape of 70 of the reptiles in 2007, which cause panic amongst the public.
Each crocodile has a value of approximately €2,000 and consumes around a pound of meat a day.
Nile crocodiles can reach a length of 5 metres and weigh 1,000kg. The largest recorded specimen was found in Tanzania and measured 6.47 metres in length and weighed 1,090 kg.
If this proposal does come to fruition, I wonder what its impact will be on property prices and sales in the Psematismenos area?