Young crocodile makes waterfall at Walter Sisulu NBG its home

20 October 2011

Nile crocodile spotted at Walter Sisulu NBGWhat if you decided to visit a Botanical Garden and whilst you are relaxed enjoying a nice picnic, you are faced with the jaws of a crocodile some metres away?

That possibility is now a reality at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden after an 80 centre metre young crocodile made the waterfall its new home.

It was first sighted by a visitor, Vimal Sewlal who took a picture of it whilst trying to capture the majestic flow of the water at the waterfall.

First dismissed as a farce

He told the staff on duty about his scoop, who dismissed it as a farce as there was a possibility it might have been mistaken for a huge monitor lizard sighted at the garden a few months earlier. He then forwarded the pictures he took to the office and they clearly showed the huge jaws showing its 'weaponry' teeth distinctive of the predator. 

Identified as a Nile Crocodile

Professor Graham Alexander, a reptile specialist from Wits confirmed that it was indeed an indigenous Nile Crocodile that was kept as a pet and might have escaped accidentally or was released on purpose by its owners. "People are not responsible with these dangerous animals and it highly likely that the owners did not have a permit and they decided to release it there", he said.

He said the predator was unlikely to make the waterfall its home as the area is too cold. At its age it is not yet a danger to humans although as young as it is, according to Prof Alexander it can deliver a nasty bite on anyone encroaching its territory.  It was sighted again on a sandbank at the waterfall a few days later basking motionless in the sun and attempts to capture it failed as it quickly slithered back to the water.

Croc to be relocated

The garden will relocate it to the Zoo in a few months time but for now it is a spectacle that will be a new draw card to visitors who come to the Garden.  Visit us on www.facebook.com/wsnbg to see more.

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