This story was first published on April 23, 2012
Circulating photograph purportedly shows a 22 foot, 2500 pound crocodile killed near a village on Africa’s Niger River.
There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the photograph itself, although details about where, when and why it was killed and its exact length and weight remain unconfirmed. The crocodile is almost certainly not as large as claimed in the message. Perspective and the relative position of the people posing behind the crocodile probably make it appear significantly larger than it really is.
The people in a village on the Niger River in Africa were losing fellow villagers at such a rapid rate, that they had to call in the Army to hunt down the culprit. A 22 foot, 2500 pound Crocodile. That would make the hairs of even Troy Landry’s neck stand up.
This image depicting a very large – and apparently very dead – crocodile laid out on a low wall or rock formation with a large group of people posing behind it circulates via email and social media and has also been posted to many online forums and blogs.
Descriptions of the crocodile that accompany the photograph tend to vary, but one of the most common versions claims that the animal was killed near a village on Africa’s Niger River because it was snatching villages. The message lists the large croc as being 22 foot long and weighing in at a whopping 2500 pounds.
There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the photograph itself. But, the exact origin of the photograph and the circumstances in which the pictured crocodile was killed remain unclear. As do the weight and measurements of the beast.
The Crocodile pictured above is one shot by Steve Curle as a ‘problem animal’ which had been attacking and killing fully grown cows. Steve works with local Zimbabwe communities and National Parks assisting with problem animal control (PAC). Many of the crocs he shoots are known man-eaters and some of the largest crocs in the world.
While Steve does not hunt professionally, he has a long hunting background and has come to know these creatures intimately, and believes that man-eaters behave differently to other crocs and while bold, will be extremely wary of any approach by hunters.
This giant crocodile was shot in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the border with Mozambique and unfortunately, circumstances did not allow for a measurement. However, several estimates have put it at over 16 feet long.
Although Nile Crocodiles do grow very large, the animal in the photograph is almost certainly not 22 feet long as claimed in some versions of the message. The crocodile probably appears significantly bigger than it really is because of the relative position of the people behind.
A closer examination of the image suggests that many of the people are positioned well behind the low rock formation and are therefore likely to be further behind the crocodile than they appear. Thus, the somewhat distorted perspective of the shot makes the animal look larger than it is. The suggested 16-foot length mentioned in the second description is more believable.