Nile Crocodile

(Crocodylus niloticus)




Facts about this animal

The Nile Crocodile has a rather long snout, about 1.6 to 2 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes. The surface is smooth, without bony ridges or an unpaired elevated area in front of the eyes. The colour of the upper body surface is dark olive, youngsters being lighter and with some dark crossbands and blotches. The lower surface is usually uniformly light and without dark blotches (with the exception of a certain population in Sudan). The iris is greenish. It can grow up to 9 m, but is usually about 5 m.

Did you know?
that the Nile crocodile, a top-predator and known as a man-eater, was both hated and revered, by the ancient Egyptians who kept them in temples, worshipped them as gods and mummified them once they died?


Name (Scientific) Crocodylus niloticus
Name (English) Nile Crocodile
Name (French) Crocodile du Nil
Name (German) Nilkrokodil
Name (Spanish) Cocodrilo del Nilo
Local names Afrikaans: Nyl Krokodil
isiZulu: Koena
kiSwahili: Mamba
seSotho, seTswana: Kwena
siSwati: Ngwenya
CITES Status Appendix I, except those listed in Appendix II (Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania (subject to an annual export quota of no more than 1,600 wild specimens including hunting trophies, in addition to ranched specimens), Zambia, Zimbabwe.
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Sarah McCans



Range Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti (ex), Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Israel (ex), Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Habitat C. niloticus lives in various habitats from temporary water bodies in desert regions to rivers, ponds lakes and swampland in savannahs and forests.
Wild population Approx. 250'000-500'000. Some subspecies of C. niloticis are frequently ranched and farmed today in large numbers. However some subspecies are still threatened.
Zoo population 502 reported to ISIS (2005)

In the Zoo

Nile Crocodile


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The Nile crocodile is bred or ranched in large numbers for the production of skins and meat. Zoos keep the species primarily for educational reasons, as an example of a large crocodile species, and because there are many stories to tell - about the role of the Nile crocodile in ancient Egypt, or Bantu fairy tales. The Nile crocodile is also a good ambassador species for the conservation of African wetlands.