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Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus & C. suchus) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Life in Managed Care

Historical notes

  • Crocodiles in ancient Egypt
    • Egyptians revered the Nile Crocodile
      • Sobek was a crocodile deity
        • Depicted as a crocodile-headed man or as a crocodile
      • A bejeweled live crocodile, Petsuchos (Greek for "son of Sobek"), was kept in managed care in the ancient city of Crocodilopolis until it died and was replaced by another living crocodile (Bell 2001)
        • Mummified Petsuchos crocodiles were given the great honor of being buried pharaohs

Breeding in managed care

  • Aquaculture
    • Nile Crocodiles and many other crocodiles and alligators world-wide are raised in farms
      • Primarily farmed for their skins
    • Ideal conditions for intensive rearing have not yet been established (Huchzermeyer 2002)
    • Potential issues
      • Pathogens such as Salmonella and Chlamydia are difficult to control
      • General stress, poor sanitation, low water temperature, and poor diet
        • Crocodiles must be able to reach a core temperature of at least 32° C once a day and not more than 34° C (Huchzermeyer 2003)
        • All crocodiles in managed care are quite susceptible to stress which damages their immune systems and metabolism (Huchzermeyer 2003)
      • Hatchling and juvenile crocodiles need cover under which to hide; they fear being seen
      • Capture, handling, sudden noises and movements in managed care all cause stress

Zoo Populations

Worldwide population

  • c. 300 on exhibit, in 2009
    • Housed at various zoos and animal parks


  • Oldest living individual (ZIMS 2015)
    • >55 years
      • A wild born male; first reported within a zoological institution in c. 1960

Page Citations

Bell (2001)
Bishop et al (2009)
Foggin (1987)
Huchzermeyer (2002 a, b)
ZIMS (2015)

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