Cancun offers lots of opportunities for kids and adults alike to get close to marine life, including whale sharks, dolphins, and sea lions, both on the open sea and in contained environments such as the city's interactive aquarium. For younger kids or those who aren't comfortable in the water, there are other chances to get close to land mammals and other wildlife. One popular place to do so is Crococun, an animal park and petting zoo. Staff encourages structured interaction with deer, snakes, and other reptiles, and children will see birds, butterflies, and other creatures common to the region.
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Straddle a Crocodile at Crococun Zoo
“They get a little cranky if you get too close to their heads,” warned my tour guide at Crococun Zoo. I was in the reptile pen standing near—no straddling—a 6 foot, rescued croc wondering what on earth I was doing when my guide smiled and suggested I squat down and pet him.
Crococun Zoo is really a rehabilitation center for exotic animals on Mexico’s Yucatan coast. If you visit, you will find monkeys, parrots, boa constrictors, lizards, deer, wild dogs, coati and more. Most of the animals can be fed or held, and I am generally fine with that. In fact, I enjoy letting 10 foot long snakes wrap their thick bodies around my neck. I love adventure. But at Crococun, you can literally walk among the crocodiles. You can step right over them. Believe me, the $28 you pay to get in the park is a small price to pay to pet the tail of a crocodile. Just make sure they are well fed.