Nile Crocodile Natural History
Range & habitat
The Nile crocodile’s current range of distribution extends from the Senegal River, Lake Chad, Wadai and the Sudan to the Cunene and the Okavango Delta. In Madagascar, crocodiles occur in the western and southern parts.
Nile crocodiles have a very broad diet including Waterbuck, sitatunga, lechwe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, goats, sheep & cattle.
During the mating season, males attract females by bellowing, slapping their snouts in the water, blowing water out of their noses and making a variety of other noises. The female digs a hole a couple of meters from the river bank and up to 20 inches deep, laying between 25-80 eggs. After burying the eggs, the female will then guard them for the 3 month incubation period.
The population was severely depleted, and the species faced extinction due to hunting from the 1940s to the 1960s. National laws and international trade regulations have resulted in a resurgence in many areas, and the species as a whole in no longer threatened with extinction.
The Nile crocodile at Sandwich Wildlife Park
Sandwich Wildlife Park is home to a pair of Nile crocodiles from Wingham Wildlife Park. Our sister park has a great track record with this amazing species however Bess, our female has always had her own poor track record when it comes to caring for her eggs – even if given a choice of nest sites, she has a tendency to try to lay them in the water. Our male is the gorgeous Houdini, who we are sure will be missed by the WWP visitors.
We don’t give them large slabs of meat to eat, instead keeping them on a diet of whole prey items such as rats and rabbits.