Can Crocodiles Be Tamed? (Or Domesticated?)

Crocodiles can’t be tamed or domesticated. They aren’t domestic animals that will respond to commands.

Instead, feeding wild crocodiles is discouraged so the animals don’t grow attached to humans.

Can Crocodiles Become Friendly?

Crocodiles aren’t friendly animals, especially humans. However, there are a few isolated cases of crocodiles bonding with humans and other animals, even becoming playmates for life.

For example, scientists have observed young crocodiles playing with river otters. Their relationship changes, however, as a crocodile grows. Vladimir Dinets observed a crocodile and a man become best friends.

The crocodile suffered an injury from being shot in the head. It then bonded with the man who rescued it and for the next 20 years, until its death, played with the rescuer.

While it’s possible, it is also rare and requires a lot of socialization at a young age.

Are There Trained Crocodiles?

While not common, crocodiles can learn commands. However, it takes a lot of time, patience, and energy.

In Cheshire, England, dwarf crocodiles listen to their trainers. At the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port, two male and female cuvier’s dwarf caimans respond to their names and stay still when called. They also return to the water when asked.

To train them, the facility uses a target stick. It feeds them and keeps the trainers at a safe distance. They associate behavior with an award.

In some zoos and facilities, there are crocodiles and alligator shows. However, these alligators and crocodiles aren’t trained. Instead, they are enticed with food to perform tricks, like jumping out of the water. It’s still very dangerous.

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Can You Keep A Crocodile As A Pet?

Crocodiles aren’t best suited for pets, neither are alligators. Even if you bond with a crocodile, these large animals need a lot of space and food.

Crocodiles are hunters and prefer to stalk their prey for live and fresh food. To keep them healthy as pets, you need to feed them a balanced diet, not just chicken or beef.

Exotic pet laws vary with each state and country. However, there are only a few that allow keeping a crocodile as a pet without a permit. In Vermont, you don’t need a permit, but you need a permit to own an anaconda. 

Crocodile Mating

Crocodiles don’t mate for life, they aren’t monogamous. While they aren’t monogamous, the mating ritual is slightly affectionate. 

Experts captured rare photos of crocodiles mating and the unique ritual. Surprisingly, male crocodiles are gentle, despite being a lot larger than female crocodiles. It also lasts a long long, even after the mating is complete.

For example, saltwater crocodiles are known to rub their snouts over each other and blow bubbles underwater. While saltwater crocodiles don’t mate for life, they protect the female crocodiles in their territory. 

Crocodiles and Aggression

Although crocodiles can develop strong bonds with each other, this doesn’t mean they are soft or gentle reptiles. Crocodiles are known for their aggressive actions and behaviors.

Saltwater crocodiles are the most aggressive species, and they are like that since birth.

Crocodiles don’t play around, especially when they feel threatened. They are natural hunters and attack animals while in the water, including humans. They are faster while in the water compared to on land. 

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These large reptiles are massive. Even the smaller species still weigh up to 400 pounds, which is more than a typical human.

Saltwater crocodiles are the most impressive, with males reaching up to 23 feet long. They have very powerful jaws and stealthily stalk their prey in water. Most of the time, their prey don’t even notice them.

They ambush their prey, taking them down with one bite. Interestingly, there haven’t been many crocodile hunting observations, because it’s dangerous.

Recent studies also state that crocodiles can climb trees and even work together to ambush large prey.

Crocodiles coordinate hunts in groups. Some crocodiles conduct highly organized game drives where the largest crocodile drives large groups of fish from deep sections of a lake.

The smaller alligators and crocodiles then block the fish’s exit paths. They then swim in circles and take turns swimming across the center and snatching up fish.

How To Protect Yourself From A Crocodile

Crocodiles are highly intelligent and aggressive, which is why you don’t want to find yourself in the water with them. However, on the rare occasion you see a crocodile in the water, keep a safe distance.

Back away as slowly as possible, without splashing or making too much noise. Too much noise will capture their attention.

It’s also likely if you see one crocodile in the water, that there are more. Crocodile attacks are more deadly than shark attacks. They have an average bite force of 3,700 pounds per square inch of force.

If you are in a life-or-death match with a crocodile, aim for its eyes. Their eyes are sensitive and important.

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One survivor left with his life after a crocodile grabbed his arm and bit him. In response, the man in the water poked his fingers into the crocodile’s eyes. It let go and swam away quickly.

You should never play dead around a crocodile or alligator. This doesn’t work on them. Instead, they will continue to bite or drag you down.

If you are ever bitten or dragged by a crocodile, fight back as much as possible. Sometimes, it’s also easier to lose a limb than fight against them.

Final Thoughts

Overall, crocodiles are wild and aggressive reptiles. There are about 1,000 fatal crocodile attacks a year. Even the smallest of crocodiles are dangerous in the wild, but there are some rare occasions when crocodiles are trained.

While some facilities can train crocodiles to follow some commands, they aren’t pets and should not be treated as such.

Nixza Gonzalez

Nixza is a highly experienced content writer with over five years of expertise in crafting expert blogs and digital content on the subject of animals. In addition to her writing skills, Nixza possesses a deep understanding of animal behavior and husbandry, honed through hands-on experience caring for her own pets and through her passion for gardening. When not working, Nixza can often be found spending quality time with her beloved animals, furthering her knowledge and deepening her connection to the natural world.

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