The Nile crocodile is one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Typically, adult male Nile crocodiles run 11 to 16 feet long, and 500 to 1,500 pounds. The largest may exceed 20 feet and 2,000 pounds. A typical lifespan in the wild is forty years. They probably kill more people per year than any other animal, far more dangerous than sharks and tigers.
These formidable animals are ambush predators, usually patiently waiting till their prey comes to a river or pond bank to drink. The crocodiles are well camouflaged in muddy water. Their jaws have enormous crushing power, and their prey can be large.
Among the items on the Nile crocodile menu are humans. There is no accurate total, but estimates are that the crocodiles kill several hundred people a year. The crocodiles are not particularly focused on people. They probably do not differentiate an antelope from a human from a zebra. Likely their primitive brains register something like ‘Meal! Cool!’
They are particularly dangerous in areas where people get their water from streams and ponds rather than wells. Women washing clothes in rivers and streams, and children playing in water are at serious risk. The Nile crocodile is not as common in the Nile river system as it once was, but the species is widespread in Africa south of the Sahara, and remains plentiful and remains extremely dangerous.
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