West African Dwarf Crocodile

The West African dwarf crocodile is one of the world's smallest species of crocodile, growing up to 1.8 metres in length.

They're currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

West African Dwarf Crocodile

The West African Dwarf Crocodile can be found throughout Western and Central Africa and is currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. This classification is due to the increasing habitat loss being experienced through amplified logging and poaching within the areas populated by this species.

 They create their burrow habitats within the mangrove swamps, rainforests and slow-moving rivers and are mostly active at night. Like all crocodiles, the dwarf crocodile utilises special glands in their tongues to remove excess salt.  They are solitary night hunters, primarily feeding on fish and shellfish and occasionally taking on smaller terrestrial prey situated near the banks of the water.

Meet Cletus

Our West African dwarf crocodile Cletus, born in September 2012, has become a big presence here at Hertfordshire Zoo, with many visitors drawn to her stillness and pre-historic looks.

Key Facts

Insects, crabs, and amphibians but will also consume fish, small mammals, and reptiles.
Life Span:
They can live up to 75 years!
Number of Young:
Females can lay up to 20 eggs in the nest mound.
West Africa
Rainforests, swamps, and slow-moving rivers of West Africa.
5 feet long
Did you know?
Dwarf crocodiles can climb trees and can sometimes be found in the lower branches!




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