A Bank that Incubates, Protects and Disburses—not Money 💰, but Crocodiles🐊: the Madras Crocodile Bank

It was yesterday. I, my husband and son felt like chilling with crocs (No, I don’t mean the footwear, I mean live ones) at the Madras Crocodile Bank and decided to look 👀 them up. Of course, given Chennai’s summer temperatures, we ended up simmering with the reptiles. Notwithstanding, it was a memorable trip as usual—you see, we are off-and-on visitors to the place since 2000.

“Rom and Zai Whitaker established the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in 1976 with the specific goal of securing breeding populations of the three species of Indian crocodile: the mugger (Crocodylus palustris), the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the rarest of all, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).

The Croc Bank was originally designed to be a living genetic repository of crocodiles for safekeeping, to protect and multiply until such time when they could be returned to restock their original wild habitats. This action was initially met with tremendous success, but today, release into the wild has stopped due to shrinking wilderness areas and the lack of suitable habitat.”

from http://www.madrascrocodilebank.org/web/history

Enjoy 😊 a dekko at some of the inmates in that sanctum through my photos—and my ubiquitous write-ups.

Lots of nice photographs! ∴ I am doing 3 posts—one featuring the Mugger Crocodile and American Alligator, the second covering Salt Water Crocodiles, and Gharials, and the last showcasing tortoises, lizards, and a couple of bird varieties that seem pegged to the ecosystem.

Here we go with the mugger bugger:


“Oh, we’re not out to scare anyone! Wondering about the gaping mouth? Just cooling off in the absence of sweat glands!,” explain these Mugger Crocodiles that love swamps.


Muggers lie piled on a sand bank, basking in shade. They seem rather too sociable, don’t they? I mean their ‘personal space’ is in the negative!

Also, you cannot miss their ‘skin tones’. No, I mean it. Can you make out how their skins look really clean—that’s definitely attributable to the cleanliness quotient in their waters/enclosures. Another giveaway for the hygiene level is the odour, which is present just as a mild whiff here, not an overwhelming stench! Cheers and 👍🏼for the management, staff and volunteers.


Would anyone dare separate this mugger from its chosen pillow? Well, would you?


Did you distinguish the croc from the rock? Ah, your vision is alright then! In which case, you couldn’t have missed the set of fine teeth a dentist would approve!


“Oh no, I am not vain, unlike another species I know. (sneer). This isn’t face painting. Its merely some algae I have gathered from my wanderings. And no nail or teeth jobs. I am naturally endowed. That’s all.”


Now, we move into alligator territory. There are two American Alligators at this place, and we have seen them since 2000. I believe this species is more aggressive compared to their tamer cousins.


“And you can make out I am out of temper usually, can’t you?,” asks this American Alligator, with a hostile eye.

Well folks, ready for the Salt Water Crocodiles and the Gharials?