12 September 2023
Many of the globe’s biggest names have fallen victim to the celebrity death hoax. Russell Crowe, Morgan Freeman, Sir Paul McCartney, and even South Africa’s beloved Sixto Rodrigues were all reported as dead – long before their time. And now, Crocworld Conservation Centre’s cherished Henry the Nile crocodile can be named among them, but the team is happy to announce that its most famous resident is alive and well!
“Everyone can rest assured that Henry is still living his best life at Crocworld Conservation Centre,” announced Wade Kilian, Reptile Curator at Crocworld in Scottburgh on the mid-KZN South Coast. “He might be missing a few toes and teeth, but after 122 years on the planet, that’s to be expected! He’s happy, healthy, and ready to welcome visitors – from a distance!”
This reptilian rascal is believed to be the world’s oldest known Nile crocodile in captivity, having been moved to Crocworld in 1985 when he was a mere 85 years old. Henry was born in the Okavango Delta in Botswana where he lived most of his life. Now, every year, the Crocworld team marks his momentous birthday with a big celebration on 16 December, complete with cupcakes for the guests … and something a bit meatier for the birthday boy.
Henry is not only the oldest crocodile at the centre, but he also happens to be one of the biggest – probably explaining his ability to survive almost 123 years on Earth! At a whopping 5 metres in length and weighing an estimated 750 kilogrammes, Henry is not a croc you want to take on. This polygamous chap shares his home with his six wives, and is proud to have fathered more than 10 000 offspring during his time at Crocworld alone.
He’s also fortunate to have a lifelong friend living with him at Crocworld – Colgate. At an estimated 90 years of age, he’s no Henry, but still an impressive reptilian specimen! Colgate was also brought to Crocworld from Botswana’s Okavango Delta in 1985. While a veritable youngster compared to Henry, Colgate is the second-biggest croc at the centre, and truly an impressive sight to behold!
Don’t miss out on the historic chance to meet Henry and Colgate at Crocworld Conservation Centre – a great way to celebrate Heritage Month this September!