Henry, the World's Oldest Surviving Crocodile, Turns 114

Born in 1900, the crocodile killed several men and children before being captured in 2003.

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Henry the crocodile beside his private pool.
Henry the crocodile beside his private pool.Credit: Screenshot

A crocodile in South Africa turned 114 last week, making him the oldest reptile in existence, the South African Press Association reported.

Henry the crocodile was born in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and was captured in 1903. Before his capture, he terrorized the local tribespeople, eating several men and children, according to surviving documentation.

One of the Botswana tribes called in an elephant hunter known as Sir Henry to kill the crocodile. Once he was in captivity, however, the sentence commuted to a lifetime in captivity,

Henry, who currently resides in the the Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal, weighs around 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) and measures close to five meters (16 feet) in length.

After fathering at least 700 offspring, Henry now lives with a harem of six female crocodiles.

“Henry has a pretty wonderful life at the center with his six wives, and this year his record-breaking birthday will be celebrated with balloons and cake for all of his well-wishes on the big day,” said the center's general manager Martin Rodrigues.

Anyone wishing to wish Henry a happy birthday can do so via Twitter at “henrythecroc.”

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