Man-Eater Crocodile | Uganda

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We have heard stories of how animals, both domestic and wild, have a vibe that makes them endearing. Yes, even a lion or a tiger has that majestic feel to them that we humans love and, to a good extent, respect. That’s one of the reasons why Wild Life Safari in Africa or Asia thrive. Seeing a wild animal in the wild is an experience in itself.

Talking of Africa, we have to admit that they are one of the earliest to understand the benefits of showcasing native fauna, and therefore, having wildlife sanctuaries. While more than 99% of this association of humans and wildlife was a success for both, there were some exceptions. The exception was when one of the creatures started considering the other as a game.

Now let’s admit it, normally it is the humans who are the aggressors hunting the wildlife for their tusks and parts of their bodies for medicines. We consider them as game and forget that they are lives too. But what happens when the tables are turned? Hmm. We get a nasty dose of our own medicine.

Of course, even when animals go after humans, they go with the sole purpose of feeding themselves. As scary as it may sound, the animal does not have an ulterior motive of creating artifacts out of human parts. It is us that give into greed and exploit the wildlife in the region.

Anyway, let’s look at one of the scenarios where the tables were turned, and humans ran for their lives.

Beware At the Water’s Shore | You Know Not What Lurketh Beneath

Here is an account of a man-eater which emerged from beneath the waters and gained some international audience. The animal we are talking about is a crocodile, and the region it terrorized was in Uganda. Such was the terror unleashed by the croc that it was named Osama Bin Laden. I am sure I don’t have to explain the name.

Osama lived in Lake Victoria and literally wiped out 10% of the adjoining village population between 1991 to 2005. That was a long reign in which the monster croc fed itself about 83 humans. It had got a taste for humans or thought that they were easy prey and went for them. All age groups of humans became victims. It would be children on the shore going to fill water or adults in their boats in the lake.

What was mesmerizing was how it targeted its victims. There are no known reports of crocodiles capsizing boats deliberately to get the humans on it. That is also a sign of intelligence if any creature did it. But that’s exactly what Osama did. It would capsize boats to drag the humans into the water and their eventual grave. Not only that, there was a report by one survivor who lost his brother in the croc’s attack. According to him, the croc launched itself in the air and fell on the boat, causing the men to fall off. Then it dragged the unlucky person still trying to get afloat. That scene is something we would watch in Hollywood. Ever thought of seeing it in real? Well, I have no intention of seeing it for sure.

Not only that, but Osama would also sneak up on the shore and attack unsuspecting kids coming to fill the water. This behavior is normal for crocs. They usually launch an attack on animals coming to drink water. In fact, it goes back to the dinosaur age when crocs many feet longer would drag dinosaurs from the water’s edge to their watery grave. The only unusual thing was for the croc to go after humans.

So, what happened to Osama then?

The Monster Croc Captured | 2005

After the recurring occurrence, the wildlife authorities and the locals decided to set a trap to get the croc. It had to be captured. Else, there was a risk of it going astray to other regions and becoming a risk there.

The trap was set with bovine lungs with a copper snare. It was set close to the expected location of the croc attacks, and soon it did fall for the trap. But it was not too soon either. It took about a week of setting traps and monitoring that led to the final capture.

Once trapped, it was hauled out of the water and pulled over a tree by about 40-50 men. It measured about 15 feet snout to tail. While the locals expected the captured croc to be put to sleep, the authorities had other plans. The idea was to use the croc as part of breeding stock. In effect, it could never return to the wild but would grow up in captivity, ensuring its genes were carried forward. Even today, the croc lives and is believed to be 75 years old. Not much of a time, considering that the crocodilians figured out ways to stay alive for millions of years. So, yeah, a tiny blip in comparison.

So, that’s the news on Osama, a different form of terrorizer that still lives!


Image Courtesy: TeeFarm at Pixabay | Getty Images


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Don't mess with crocs, they learn from experience and get wiser with age. The older the croc the wiser

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2 years ago