Friday, June 16, 2017

My Crocodile Diary

Surely one of the more misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom is the crocodile. We tend to view him as nothing but a vicious carnivore who has one thing on his mind – food and killing to get it. I can’t say that I’m so different though, except maybe about the killing part, but the eating part is pretty high on my radar during my every waking moment.

I recently saw a video of a man with a pet crocodile (or in all honestly it could have been an alligator – there are a lot of differences between the two but I think we see both of them as killing machines). So this guy was swimming with his reptilian friend and kissing his scaly snoot. I would never suggest doing that or think of doing it myself, but I think every creature needs a friend.

There are fourteen distinct species of crocodiles. The most aggressive, largest and most common is the Saltwater Crocodile. Second in each of these categories is probably the Nile Crocodile, which is most common in Eastern Africa. Here are my encounters with that ancient beast on three different trips to Kenya.

On safari in 2006, we saw him from a significant distance. I zoomed the camera in as far as I could and still zoomed some more when I put the picture on my computer. 
 On safari in 2015, at least he was on my side of the river.
This past April, we visited the Mamba Village Nairobi Crocodile Farm. Though they look pretty docile dozing in their enclosure, you don’t want to fall in with them.

Then there are the young ones. Who can resist the babies of any species? 
At first, I thought, "I am never gonna hold this critter."
But we did kind of bond. 

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