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Crocodiles In Israel

Fauna of the Land

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Crocodiles in in Israel dwelled in the Kabara marshes and on the Carmel coast. Probably remnants of the large population that lived in the coastal streams at the end of the Tertiary period (the Pliocene) and the beginning of the Pleistocene about two to five million years ago.

At that time, Israel’s climate was tropical, rainy, and warmer, as evidenced by the tilapia fish, The catfish, and the soft turtles, which are of African origin, that survived in the few ponds and swamps found along the northern shoreline of Israel where there were hot springs (22-24 degrees) that kept their body heat in the cold winter. Ancient researchers such as the Roman Pliny and the famous geographer Strabo reported the existence of crocodiles in the area in the first century BCE.

The ruins of the city of crocodiles “Crocodilon Polis” (Crocodilon) are located where the Taninim stream meets with the Mediterranean Sea. It is possible that the Israeli crocodile There was an endemic subspecies described by travelers, pilgrims, and researchers who reported that it was seen in river streams.

Crocodiles in Israel
In This Photo: Taninim Stream Where till the 20th Century, Crocodiles Where Still Habtiating the River.

Last Testimony For Crocodiles In Israel

Late testimony to the presence of crocodiles in the area, from the second half of the 19th century, is that of the German engineer Gottlieb Schumacher. The German consul in Haifa. Schumacher found crocodile teeth in nearby swamps, and in 1887, even a female crocodile near Tantura (Dor) was as long as about three meters, and there were 48 eggs in her body.

The Crocodile in the Bible
The Crocodile in the Bible

The skins of the last crocodiles that lived In the area are preserved in collections in Europe, in the collections of the universities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and in the collection of Father Schmitz in Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, which was transferred to the Museum a couple of years ago. Since World War II, crocodiles have disappeared from the area, and farms have been established since then. Many crocodiles around the world and also in Israel.

Crocodiles in Israel - Crocoloco
In This Photo: A Baby Crocodile at The Crocodile Farm – Crocoloco

The remains of an ancient city called Crocodilopolis were found in the area. The name can testify that crocodiles were forming part of the Fauna in the area. Nearby was the Crocodile River (Taninim Stream see image), the principal stream, providing a constant, if limited, water source. Within the river were the crocodiles that gave their name. These flourished in the area till the modern period. Moreover, Richard I camped by the river in 1191, and two of his men were eaten by one.

Where Can See Crocodiles in Israel Today?

Well, sadly, the only crocodiles in Israel today are kept in captivity. There are two crocodile farms worth checking out when touring Israel. First is Crocoloco Farm! The farm is an exciting destination in southern Israel that offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with crocodiles. The farm is home to over 2,000 Nile crocodiles, and visitors can see these fascinating creatures up close while learning about their behavior, biology, and conservation.

Another destination to see crocodiles in Israel is Hamat Gader! In addition to the thermal pools and spas, Hamat Gader is home to various other attractions. The site includes a large crocodile farm where visitors can see and learn about these fascinating creatures up close. There is also a bird park where visitors can observe exotic birds in their natural habitats and a petting zoo where children can interact with various farm animals.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

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