Henry the croc is now 114 years old

2014-12-15 00:00

THE oldest known crocodile in captivity will be celebrating his 114th birthday tomorrow.

Henry the crocodile, estimated to have been born in 1900, has been with the Crocworld Conservation Centre for the past 29 years and came in at the age of 85.

Crocworld Conservation Centre manager Martin Rodrigues said Henry will be getting a special treat on his birthday.

“Crocworld visitors can help themselves to cake, but Henry will be digging into an extra serving of lunch which would be another chicken,” he said.

Henry has had six females in his enclosure with him and has fathered more than 7 000 young crocodiles to date.

He began life as the terror of a Botswana tribe in the Okavango Delta. An elephant hunter, whom he was named after, Sir Henry, was hired to capture him.

The crocodile was sentenced by the tribe elders to a lifetime of captivity as punishment.

Henry is just under five metres in length and weighs roughly 500 kg.

Rodrigues said crocodiles can live much longer in captivity.

“Compared to living in the wild, there is less competition for resources such as food, space and mates in a captive environment,” he said.

Rodrigues said animals in captivity have access to veterinary care and these are some of the factors which affect their life expectancy.

“In the wild the life expectancy would be roughly 70- 75 years, however, this can be much longer in captivity.”

Rodrigues said Henry’s birthday was celebrated on the same day every year since his arrival in 1985.

“We do not have the exact date of his birth, but we were told by his capturers he was born in 1900,” he said.

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