Crocodile Tears

Crocodile-Jun-4-BlogEarlier this week an Australian woman, swimming in a river, was attacked and killed by a crocodile. This kind of thing is all too common and, despite an abundance of signs warning people not to swim in the crocodile-inhabited waters, on average 2 people are killed in Australia in this way every year.

Crocodiles are very dangerous animals. They are predators who gather in slow-moving rivers where they wait to ambush creatures coming to drink, such as wildebeest or zebras. Of course, humans who come to swim are seen as potential prey and so place themselves at risk. It’s estimated that over 100 people are killed by African crocodiles each year.

So, how do we stop ourselves from becoming a crocodile’s dinner? Well, the best way is to stay away from them! Never go swimming in a river where crocodiles live and be extremely cautious if gathering water. They have also been known to attack and overturn small boats so fishing in an area where crocodiles live is not a good idea.

Crocodiles are most active at dusk and at night so never go anywhere near a river where they live except in full daylight.

If you do encounter a crocodile then get away from it fast! They can swim at speeds of up to 60kph. They can also launch themselves vertically out of the water so don’t lean over the edge of bridges or boats.

Also move away if you find a crocodile nest. Mothers will defend their eggs and young vigorously.

If a crocodile manages to grab hold of you, your best chance of survival is to attack its eyes. Many who have managed to survive a crocodile attack say that the animal let go when they gouged at these vulnerable organs.

Crocodiles should be treated with respect but they have more reason to fear us than we do them. They are hunted for their meat and their skin which is used to make shoes, handbags, belts and the like. Of the 23 species of crocodile only 1 is not at risk. 11 are listed as at risk, 4 more as vulnerable and 7 as critically endangered.

The unfortunate Australian woman was swimming after dark in a river which had signs warning about crocodiles, thus breaking 3 of the safety rules. I do sympathise with her and her family but let’s not blame the crocodiles – they are only doing what comes naturally.

Education Quizzes is always on the side of nature – that’s why we have over sixty free-to-play quizzes all about the natural world. From toads to trees and mammals to minerals, there’s bound to be something there for you. So go and test your natural knowledge today!

If you are interested in crocodiles and what we can do to help them, then take a look at Crocodiles of the World in Oxfordshire. They have lots of information about crocodiles, including ways in which you can help save them. They are also the UKs only crocodile zoo – well worth a visit.

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