Assessment of Captive Management of Nile Crocodile, Crocodylus Niloticus, In three towns of Benue State, Nigeria
The work assessed captive management of Nile crocodile in three towns of Benue State (Makurdi, Gboko and Katsina-Ala). A research survey was carried out in the study area with structure questionnaires and oral interviews administered to the respondents. The assessment consist of the farm size, type, the quantity and quality of feed used, the general hygiene of the farms, weight and number of crocodiles kept in each farm were noted. A total of eight farmers keeping captive Nile crocodiles were used in the study. Two were located in Makurdi two in Gboko and four from Katsina-Ala. Results showed that majority keep nile crocodile for recreation purposes (87.5%) and for economic values (62.5%). The size of enclosures of the farm was between 56 to 289m2 while the size of their ponds ranged from 9m2 to 100m2. The sanitary condition in most farms was fairly clean to clean. The type feed includes beef, and frog depending on availability or in combination with other fee. The Nile crocodile are either fed once or twice a day except for the farm in Gboko (Allam Villa farm) which feeds the crocodiles four times a week. The Nile crocodile has an estimated aged of between 22 to 36 years while their weight was between 51 to 87kg. The number of crocodiles and the number of eggs were of the constraints faced in managing them in captivity. The constraints mentioned includes inadequate space (75%) and inadequate funds (62.5%). Others includes problems of water, fighting among the crocodiles, diseases and parasites. The main recommendation is putting support system in place by the government to improve captive management of the Nile crocodile for enhanced production.
Key words: Assessment, Captive management, Nile crocodile.