Sketch of Crocodile
Home Misleading ’22 Foot 2500 Pound’ Crocodile Photo

’22 Foot 2500 Pound’ Crocodile Photo

by Brett M. Christensen

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. 

Brief Analysis

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.


Large Crocodile

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.


Detailed Analysis

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.

However, the following – much more credible – description probably relates the real story behind the photograph, although this description too currently remains unconfirmed.

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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,