Dwarf crocodile

Dwarf crocodiles can actually grow up to 1.5 metres or 4.9 feet!

There are actually only two subspecies of dwarf crocodile – the Congo dwarf and the West African dwarf.

At Folly Farm we have a have a breeding pair of West African dwarf crocodile – our male, Bobo, and our female, Zemora. They live in our Tropical Trails exhibit which highlights the illegal trade of animals. Zemora was smuggled into the UK and seized at customs when she was a baby.

The dwarf crocodile is the smallest species of crocodile in the world, growing up to 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) in length. When compared to the largest species, the saltwater crocodile (up to 5.2m/17 feet in length), they really do dwarf in comparison!

Dwarf crocodiles can be found in the mangrove swamps, rainforests and slow moving rivers and streams of West Africa and are mostly active at night when they like to feed on small animals such as fish, insects, lizards, water birds and shrews.

Dwarf crocodiles can lay up to ten eggs at any one time. Good diggers, the females lay their eggs in mounds of soil and vegetation. The female will dutifully guard the eggs until they hatch and will continue to look after the hatchlings once in the water.

Conservation

Our crocodiles are part of a managed breeding programme as they are a vulnerable species. It is hoped that if we’re successful in breeding the baby crocodiles will be released back into the wild in Africa.

Crocodile questions and answers

What do crocodiles eat?

Fish, insects, lizards, water birds and shrews.

How big do dwarf crocodiles get?

Dwarf crocodiles can each up to 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) in length. Saltwater crocodiles, the largest species of crocodile, can reach up to 5.2 metres (17 feet) in length.

How many species of dwarf crocodile are there?

There are two subspecies of dwarf crocodile – the Congo dwarf and the West African dwarf.

What is a group of crocodiles called?

The collective noun for a group of crocodiles is a “bask of crocodiles”.

What’s the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?

There are a few differences between crocodiles and alligators. Crocodiles tend to have more pointed, V-shaped snouts and alligators tend to have wider, U-shaped snouts. Alligators have wider upper jaws so their teeth are usually hidden when their mouths are closed whereas the teeth of a crocodile tend to stick up over the upper lip when a crocodile’s mouth is closed. Crocodiles are usually found in saltwater habitats whereas alligators are usually found in freshwater marshes and lakes.

Can you adopt a crocodile?
Yes! You can adopt a crocodile with Folly Farm today!

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.