Keeping crocodiles as pets

Housing crocodiles

Enclosures must be built so the crocodile does not escape and it is looked after safely. This is very important when keeping a dangerous animal.

A crocodile enclosure needs to be three times the length of the crocodile multiplied by twice its length.

Young crocodiles are very good at climbing. You can stop crocodiles escaping from tanks by placing blocks at the top of each corner of the tank or a secure lid with ventilation.

Water and land

Crocodiles need a pool of water that is large and deep enough for the animal to submerge. 

Between 60% and 75% of the bottom of the tank or enclosure should be water.

There must be enough dry ground so the animal can exit the water to bask itself and turn around comfortably.

The land should be a large with flat rock, stones, or pebbles.

Water polluted by waste and uneaten food will affect the health of the crocodile. You need to provide a waste discharge area that is able to handle all such discharge.

Enclosure temperature

Crocodiles need sun and shade to regulate their body temperature both in the pool and on land. 

Shade is very important as crocodiles can burn or overheat. 

Young crocodiles particularly need shelter. You can use a piece of wood or plastic over the land or water for this.

Water temperatures must be kept between 26°C and 29°C. At night the water heater should be left on.

Air temperatures for crocodiles range between 29°C and 33°C. You should make sure these conditions are set before putting the crocodile in the enclosure.

Keeping crocodiles over 60cm

In addition to the requirements listed above, the enclosure for a crocodile over 60cm must be made to follow all of these guidelines:

  • fence perimeter must be 50mm to 1800mm chain mesh concreted into the ground 300mm deep
  • fence posts should be set in concrete that is 900mm deep
  • top of the fence should be three strands of barbed wire
  • gate into the enclosure should be chained mesh and self-closing, it should open inwards and be fitted with a padlock
  • concrete barrier under the chain mesh needs to continue under the gate.

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Last updated: 17 February 2016

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