Animal

8 Oldest Crocodiles in The World

As far as reptiles go, crocodiles are probably one of the most common creatures that come to mind — and one of the most ᴅᴇᴀᴅly. Brought to the public sphere by Steve Irwin in the Animal Planet show The Crocodile Hᴜɴᴛer, crocodiles are fearsome and fascinating animals. While most make the news due to their large ɪɴᴛɪᴍɪᴅᴀᴛing size, crocodiles have a long lifespan, reaching over a 100 years of age. Below are some of the world’s oldest (and largest!) crocodiles!

1. Mr. Freshie

  • Year of Birth: 1870
  • Age: 140 years old (ᴅɪᴇᴅ in 2010)
  • Species: Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnsoni)
  • Location: Queensland, Australia

Having resided in the Australia Zoo as one of its oldest residents, Mr Freshie was a freshwater crocodile that lived to be 140 years old making him the oldest known crocodile to ever be put in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ. He lived long despite being S.H.O.T twice in the tail and left eye, leaving him ʙʟɪɴᴅ and ʙᴀᴅly ɪɴjᴜʀᴇᴅ.

Mr. Freshie was caught in 1970 by crocodile wrangling duo Steve Irwin and his father, Bob Irwin, in the Moorehead River. Unlike saltwater crocodiles, freshwater crocodiles like Mr. Freshie are ʜᴀʀᴍless reptiles and have never been linked to any human fᴀᴛᴀʟities. Despite that fact, they are still often seen as a ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ and S.H.O.T, giving them long term ɪɴjᴜʀies and months of sᴜffᴇʀing before a slow ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.

2. Henry

  • Year of Birth: 1900
  • Age: 117 years old
  • Species: Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)
  • Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Born in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Henry the Nile Crocodile, gained a reputation of being a ᴍᴀɴ-ᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ, ᴛᴇʀʀᴏʀizing local tribespeople and eating several men and children. One of the tribes solicited the services of an elephant ʜᴜɴᴛer known as Sir Henry, who the crocodiles in named after, to ᴋɪʟʟ him. After capturing Henry in 1903, he was sᴇɴᴛᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ to a lifetime in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ.

Henry currently lives at the Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh, Kwa-Zulu Natal, where the caretakers and visitors celebrate his birthday with style, handing out free cupcakes and providing fun entertainment such as dancing and face ᴘᴀɪɴting.

3. Kolya

  • Year of Birth: around 1880
  • Age: 110-115 years old (ᴅɪᴇᴅ in 1995)
  • Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Location: Yekaterinburg, Russia

Believed to have been born in the era of the czars, a crocodile that ᴅɪᴇd in a Russian zoo is alleged to be one of the oldest crocodiles to have ever lived. Named Kolya, the crocodile measured 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters) long was part of an animal show that toured the region.

4. Cassius

  • Year of Birth: 1903
  • Age: 114 years old
  • Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Location: Cairns, Australia

Currently awarded the title of largest crocodile in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ by the Guinness Book of World Records, Cassius is a whooping 5.48 meters (17 ft 11.75 in) long. He currently resides in the Marineland Melanesia wildlife zoo in Green Island, Australia, along with other 50 crocodiles. He was brought to the zoo over 3,200 km (1.988 miles) from Australia’s Northern Territory by truck. He was first ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇᴅ in 1984 for stealing cattle and ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋing boats.

In celebration of his 112th birthday in 2015, Cassius was met with fervent celebration and was gifted a chicken birthday cake to commemorate the special occasion. George Craig, the person who brought Cassius to the Marineland Melanesia zoo, named him after Cassius Clay, the birth name of renowned boxer Muhammad Ali. The name is fitting for Cassius’ hard-knock life as he was caught with a ᴍɪssɪɴɢ ʟᴇɢ and ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ sᴄᴀʀs strewn all over his body.

5. Big Daddy

  • Year of Birth: around 1916
  • Age: 100 years old
  • Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Location: Mombasa, Kenya

Another ᴠɪᴏʟᴇɴᴛ ᴍᴀɴ ᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ, this crocodile named Big Daddy, was ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇᴅ in 1986 after he ᴍᴀᴜʟᴇᴅ five people in River Tana. He was so ʜᴏsᴛɪʟᴇ that when he arrived in his new home in Mamba Village he ate 10 of his fellow crocodiles and was thus put into sᴏʟɪᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏɴfɪɴᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ.

Eventually, two female crocodiles, Sasha and Salma were introduced into his enclosure and Big Daddy welcomed his new companions with open arms, even changing his feeding behaviour to share his meals with them every Friday. Big Daddy married Sasha and Salma in December 2016.

6. Hakuna

  • Year of Birth: 1930
  • Age: 85 years old
  • Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

In March 2015, an old crocodile by the name Hakuna ᴅɪᴇd in the Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He was brought to the zoo in 1930 fully grown and was thought to be at least 85 years old, making him the oldest crocodile in the zoo’s history.

Hakuna was gifted to the zoo, along with a female crocodile named Matata (who ᴅɪᴇd in 2014), by famous actress and singer Josephine Baker. Together, the names Hakuna Matata form an African phrase that means “no worries.”

7. Gustave

  • Year of Birth: 1949
  • Age: 68 years old
  • Species: Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)
  • Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

One of the ᴅᴇᴀᴅliest crocodiles on this list and, possibly on the planet, Gustave eludes ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ and roams the waters of the Ruzizi River and Lake Tanganyika in the small African state of Burundi. Gustave is a reputed ᴍᴀɴ ᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ who has been ᴛᴇʀʀᴏʀizing local villagers since the 1990s.

A 2004 documentary Capturing the Kɪʟʟer Croc, shows the attempts of Patrice Faye and other scientists to humanely capture and ᴋɪʟʟ Gustave using a baited ᴛʀᴀᴘ cage. Faye had spent two years investigating the crocodiles and its ᴠɪᴏʟᴇɴᴛ activities before setting out to capture Gustave on a two month ᴅᴇᴀᴅline. The attempt ultiᴍᴀᴛᴇly failed and the team was fᴏʀᴄᴇd to leave the country due to ᴘᴏʟɪᴛɪᴄᴀʟ instability. For a time, Gustave was believed to be ᴅᴇᴀᴅ as he did not surface and attempt another ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ in years. However, he was confirmed to be sighted again in 2008, with rumours of sightings dated as recent as 2015. Elusive as ever, Gustave’s reputation of being a “serial ᴋɪʟʟer” has elevated him to a mythical status akin to the Loch Ness Monster.

8. Lolong

  • Year of Birth: 1963
  • Age: 50 years old (ᴅɪᴇᴅ in 2013)
  • Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Location: Bunawan, Philippines

Caught in the waters of Bunawan creek in Agusan del Sur, Philippines, Lolong was a massive specimen measuring at 6.17 meters (20 ft) long. He was named after Ernesto “Lolong” Conate, who led the team of local ʜᴜɴᴛers who caught him. Unfortunately, Ernesto ᴅɪᴇd of a sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ a few days before Cassius was finally ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇᴅ. Cassius was ʜᴜɴᴛed down after several reports of crocodile ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋs were made in the area, including the disappearance of a local fisherman and a 12-year-old girl.

Lolong briefly held the title of largest crocodile in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ from the Guinness Book of World Records until he ᴅɪᴇd in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ in 2013, at an estiᴍᴀᴛᴇd age of 50. He ᴅɪᴇd of ᴘɴᴇᴜᴍᴏɴɪᴀ and ᴄᴀʀᴅɪᴀᴄ ᴀʀʀᴇsᴛ. Although people have claimed that ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ took a toll on Lolong’s health, the caretaking team at the Bunawan Eco Park and Research Centre, took all the necessary precautions in allowing Lolong to acclimatize to his new surroundings.

 

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