NILE CROCODILES (Crocodylus niloticus)
This species of Crocodile has a wide distribution. Due to this many subspecies have been suggested. This Crocodile is absent from areas north of the Sahara Desert and from the far south of South Africa. It is also present in Madagascar. There are currently seven subspecies recognized and these are Crocodylus niloticus niloticus, Crocodylus niloticus africanus, Crocodylus niloticus chamses, Crocodylus niloticus cowiei, Crocodylus niloticus madagascariensis, Crocodylus niloticus pauciscutatus and Crocodylus niloticus suchus. Some specimens from more arid areas brumate in deep burrows during the dry season.
Nile Crocodiles tend to average around 5m (16½ft) in length, however 6m (20ft) individuals are still said to occur occasionally. Due to its large size this species is really not suitable for maintenance outside of zoos.
Juvenile Nile Crocodiles eat mainly small fish, amphibians, crustaceans, insects and snails. Adults are opportunistic and will eat large mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans, reptiles, etc and carrion.
Therefore the captive diet for adults should be kept as varied as possible. This can include; various types of fish, rats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, crabs, raw beef, piglets, etc.
Nile Crocodiles have been known to attack and kill humans in the wild, due to this reason captive specimens should only be maintained in zoological displays.
A fitted pond is the best option for this species, it is best to have a Drain/plug or an external tap fitted for ease of cleaning. A strong filtration unit must also be fitted in the pond, it is best to have this boxed in to prevent the Crocodile damaging it. It is best for the filtration system to have exterior access as well to reduce need to enter enclosure.
This species requires a basking area of up to 35C (95F), with a background temperature of 25C (77F). At night the temperature may be allowed to drop to 21C (69F).
Specimens have been known to live in excess of 50 years, given the correct husbandry some have been known to out live this.
A concrete substrate should never be used as the sole substrate, as this is one of the principal causes of pedal dermatitis in crocodilians. Substrates of river sand and pea gravel mixtures are best for this species.
NB – A dangerous Wild Animals License is currently required in order to keep this species, your local Environmental Health Officer at the council will be able to give you more information. It is best to contact DEFRA as to what paperwork is required.
NB – Distribution map taken from http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/csp_cnil.htm
Photograph taken from http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/csp_cnil.htm
Recommended Reading/Useful Contacts
Stuart Dodsworth – firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Herpetological Society – www.international-herp-society.co.uk
The British Herpetological Society – www.thebhs.org
Taxonomy Information – http://srs.embl-heidelberg.de:8000/srs5bin/cgi-bin/wgetz?-e+[REPTILIA-Species:'Crocodylus_SP_niloticus']
DEFRA – (0117) 3728671
Local Environmental Health Officer at The Council
Last edited by NicoleRussell; 10-10-2006 at 01:29 AM.
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