Dozens of baby crocs hitch a ride on dad

Posted by Anita Froneman on 3 September 2020

Photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee captured a beautiful sight of a freshwater crocodile swimming through a river with dozens of offspring on his back.

These incredible images were taken in the National Chambal Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, India and have been highly commended in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.


‘This male had mated with seven or eight females, and you can see that it was very much involved’, Dhritiman told BBC. ‘Normally the gharial is quite a shy crocodile compared with the saltwater and marsh crocs. But this one was very protective and if I got too close, it would charge me. It could be very aggressive.’

The freshwater gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) can live up to 60 years and mostly occur in India and Nepal. These Asian crocodiles are critically endangered.

Female gharials can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, yet this species’ numbers have declined as much as 98% due to hunting for traditional medicine and drastic changes to their freshwater habitats, according to National Geographic.

Images: dhritiman_mukherjee


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