The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is also named Garwe, Ngwenya, or Mamba. It’s the largest crocodile in Africa and the second largest crocodilian in the world reaching up to 6 meters in body length and up to 730 kg in weight. The average size of the Nile Crocodile is 5 meters long and 220 kg in weight. Nile Crocodiles inhabit the Nile Basin, rivers and swamps in Madagascar. Some Nile Crocodile enter the sea and search for new habitats.
In most areas, the Nile Crocodile lives in close proximity to humans which results in frequent attacks. About 200 people become a prey for the Nile Crocodile every year. The main food for this primordial animal is fish, but it’s able to kill anything that crosses its path including buffalos, zebras, goats, cattle, young hippos and elephants, birds, and even other crocodiles. When fishing, the Nile Crocodile groups the fish toward a bank with the tail and quickly eats it. Sometimes, several crocodiles cooperate to block migrating fish. When the prey is scarce, the Nile Crocodile thrives on carrion. Nile Crocodiles are able to eat up about half of their body weight.
The Nile Crocodile is a very efficient hunter. It can lie concealed underwater for a long time and when the prey comes close enough, drags it quickly into the water with its powerful jaws and holds it underneath until the prey drowns. To tear off pieces of meat, Nile Crocodiles lodge the prey under stones or branches and twist their body while holding a piece of meat in their teeth. It’s easier to eat the prey when a group of crocodiles share a kill. Nile Crocodiles seldom come out of the water, but when their common food is scarce, they can travel in search of carrion.
In the 1960s, the population of the Nile Crocodile faced extinction, as many animals were killed for their leather and meat. Today, the species is protected by national laws and international trade regulations. Today, there are about 250,000 to 500,000 Nile Crocodiles in the wild. Artificial environments are created for Nile Crocodiles to exist safely. The Nile Crocodile can be raised at ranches for their valuable skin.