Claim: Photograph shows a large crocodile killed in Zimbabwe.
[Collected via e-mail, April 2012]
PULLED FROM THE NIGER RIVER IN AFRICA 22FT LONG WEIGHING OVER 2500 POUNDS. THE ARMY WAS CALLED IN AFTER PEOPLE STARTED TO DISAPPEAR.
[Collected via e-mail, January 2012]
My friend in Zimbabwe sent me this photo saying that he couldn't find anyone to tell him that the photo was not real and that some people had claimed to have see one this big. It was allegedly caught in the Zambezi River.
Origins: This photograph of a large crocodile reported killed in Zimbabwe first hit our inbox in August 2010. Although we don't yet know the specific origins of this image, we don't see any reason to believe it is not genuine — it shows no hallmarks of having been digitally manipulated, and the crocodile pictured, although large, is not so large as to be beyond the bounds of believability. (Nile crocodiles commonly reach lengths of 16 feet and can grow to 18 feet in maturity.) The perspective of the photograph also helps to enhance the apparent size of the croc, as the animal is posed in the foreground closer to the camera, while the crowd of onlookers appears to be seated several feet behind it.
The only specific information we've found on this photo comes from an image of an undated article in an unknown publication which reproduced this picture with the following text:
The crocodile pictured above is one shot by Steve Curle as a problem animal which had been attacking and killing fully grown cows. Steve works with local Zimbabwe communities and National Parks assisting with problem animal control (PAC). Many of the crocs he shoots are known man-eaters and some of the biggest crocs seen. While Steve does not hunt professionally, he has a long hunting background and has come to know these creatures intimately, and believes that man-eaters behave differently to other crocs and while bold, will be extremely wary of any approach by hunters. This beast of a crocodile was shot in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the border with Mozambique and unfortunately, circumstance did not allow for a measurement. However, several guesstimates put it over 16 feet. Our own estimate (based on a 25mm cigarette filter lying slightly in the foreground) does suggest it measures closer to 15 feet. A return trip is planned to the little dam where this croc was shot, and a measurement will be taken from the wall upon which the croc is laying.