Monster Crocodile in New Orleans

Michael Maffei sent me some giant crocodile pictures that have begun doing the rounds. They're accompanied by this caption:

Now this is a Crocodile ! This crocodile was found in New Orleans swimming down the street. 21 FT long, 4,500 lbs, around 80 years old minimum. Specialists said that he was looking to eat humans because he was too old to catch animals. This crocodile was killed by the army last Sunday at 3:00 pm, currently he is in the freezer at the Azur hotel. The contents of it's stomach will be analyzed this Friday at 2:30pm.

The pictures are real enough, but they're weren't taken in New Orleans. These are pictures of the Monster Crocodile of Pointe-Noire (in the Republic of the Congo). They've been circulating for over two years. David Emery notes that the crocodile was really estimated to be 16 feet long and weighed about 1874 lbs. That's still a lot bigger than I'd ever care to encounter.

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Animals Photos

Posted on Fri Sep 16, 2005


What gets me is whoever tried to pass this off as happening in NOLA seriously needs to be sent back to school and learn where crocs live and where alligators live.
Posted by Jorge  on  Sat Sep 17, 2005  at  04:46 AM
Good one, Jorge. I didn't even catch that...
Posted by Snowy  in  aeternum  on  Sat Sep 17, 2005  at  09:56 AM
Looks like a decent sized Croc. These are not what you want to see when you are in a small boat. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I thought you guys over there did not have Crocs at all? I knew you had alligators but I did not think you had crocs.
Posted by David W  on  Sun Sep 18, 2005  at  05:38 PM
The only crocs native to the Americas are the cayman in South America.
Posted by Jorge  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  06:58 AM
There is the American Crocodile, but it only lives in Florida.
A croc was reported missing from the Audubon Zoo after the storm though. Haven't heard if they found it yet.
Posted by Frederick J. Barnett  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  09:24 AM
Actually, we have alligators up here, so they've gone beyond Florida. They are rare, however, but one or another gator periodically comes up to this or that road on Redstone Arsenal and dies, causing a brief media frenzy. But no crocs. I figured this was a hoax.
Posted by The Mikado  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  09:49 AM
It is messed up that someone is saying that crocodile came out of New Orleans! However, there ARE crocodiles in the US; they are called American Crocodiles, are endangered, and live in southern Florida, the Caribbean, southern Mexico, and along the Central American coast south to Venezuela.
Posted by Lani  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  10:13 AM
For a real thrill try taking the Jumping Crocodile tour on the Adelaide River in Australia's Northern Territory (

When one of those monsters pokes his head up a few feet away and looks you over through the plexiglass you know what the lobsters in the supermarket feel like.
Posted by Blondin  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  11:59 AM
The American Crocodile has been reported (anecdotally) at 21+ feet and is indigenous to "the southern United States.", which can be verified quite simply online. This lays a reality base, however tenuous, for the hoax claim.

The real red flag was that this story was not picked up by any news organizations.
Posted by Bob Maurus  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  08:38 PM
we are just a couple of ole country asses here and we knew it was a hoax. Crocs don't live in N.O. they don't like mardi grau beads.
Posted by phil and mike  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  03:26 AM
And no one noticed the truck had no N.O plates on it?
Posted by VP  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  09:47 AM
The real identifier of a hoax is that those people in the photo do not resemble US army officials at all! and why would they keep it in a hotel freezer!
Posted by Larry  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  10:22 AM
Crocs don't live in NO, there was no electricity after the hurricane to keep a hotel freezer going, and there is no Hotel Azur in New Orleans. I figured this out, but then found your website.
Posted by Bonnie  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  10:51 AM
Only in south Florida do crocodiles and alligators co-exist in all the world. In other parts of the USA, alligators are found, including New Orleans. Gators have rounded jaws and tend to be black.
Posted by Gaye Thomas  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  12:25 PM
Got this forwarded to me at WORK of all places, and I knew it couldn't be real--we don't have crocs in the States and I hadn't heard about it from any major newswire. Sheesh, some folks will believe anything they get in their email. *sigh*
Posted by KW  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  01:52 PM
Boy Oh Boy... People will believe anything that presents itself as a periodical.. Anyone who has the smallest bit of commone sense would realize that that is a BEAST from the continent. I mean all it takes is bit of exposure to the Discovery Channel for goodness sakes...

And if you don't have cable watch PBS..

LOL Imagine the wildlife necessary for such an animal to reach such dimensions. Last I check I haven't seen any Wildabeast crossing the rough Mississipi for greener pastures (GEEEZ). LOL
Posted by Huricardo  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  02:13 PM
There are other clues besides the unlikely occurrence of a large croc swimming around in New Orleans--unless it escaped from a zoo or other wildlife attraction. No license plate on the truck, as has been mentioned and non-standard lettering on the back of the truck. But check out the black guys standing around. They are all reasonably well groomed and well barbered. Not a pair of baggy pants among them, and no sideways baseball caps and no dreadlocks.
Posted by WRITER  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  04:32 PM
A normal person is not going to be that close and calm next to something that big. You can tell that its not real. The people are to calm and the rope looks to weak
Posted by kelly  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  04:49 PM
It's sad people have to kill these things. It's been living all these years, and it got so big, yet they still had to kill it. Just rehabilitate it, it's not that big a deal.

Even if it is a hoax, the poor gator still had to die. =\
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  05:35 PM
I knew this picture was a email was a fake. The license plate on the truck is not American, Then I read that the stomach of the crocodile was in the Azur Hotel. So i went to yahoo, search and looked up Azur Hotel New Orleans and nothing came up but this website which proved me right. Also you can see that the font, and color has been changed in the email. Booyah!!!
Posted by Free  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  10:00 AM
It is a shame that some people do not have a life that is important to them. It is not funny to send phoney emails. "The old saying is phoney is as phoney does". Get a life pal or better yet, get a crocodile.
Posted by Preciousg  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  10:37 AM
There is a small chance that the endangered American Crocodile could be living in New Orleans. However, it is a smaller species than the saltwater or Nile crocs.
Another way to tell that it's a hoax is that the length and weight of the animal don't add up. Last year, PBS had an one hour special on a killer Nile Crocodile in Africa. They estimated the Crocodile to be at least 20 feet long and weighs a ton (2000lbs). It's very unlikely that a 21 footer will weigh more than twice as much as a 20 footer.
Posted by Q  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  11:14 AM
Danger, Danger, Danger.
Posted by Javier Manzano  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  01:22 PM
The majority population may not notice this, but the men in the photo are Africans. One can tell by the style of the clothes and footwear.
Posted by trstar  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  02:12 PM
The middle pic shows a SAND bank in the background. There is no sand in New Orleans, and if there was, it would have been washed away in the flooding.
Posted by Big Daddy Stizzle  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  02:33 PM
Plus, the 80 & 90 on the back of the truck are Kilometre per hour maximum speeds. Meant fo' europe or africa.
Posted by aiiiiiit  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  04:03 PM
What does baggy pants and side ways baseball caps have to do with anything.
Posted by AJ  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  04:26 PM
The crock only eats dudes with baggy pants and sideways baseball caps...I was wondering where he went to...anyone up for Burgers when I thaw his @ss out?
Posted by Pflight400  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  07:09 PM
The croc is a Nile Croc (umm... I guess it's range still doesn't include south LA); this species kills and eats lots of humans in Africa every year; the photo is also from Africa: the people, the truck, and the licence plates

But... an excellent photo of a croc; many lack a good perspective shot so one can appreciate size, but this demonstrate how large and how frightening the nile croc and the saltwater croc of Australia can be.

I've spent time in south Louisiana; trust me, this dead animal won't go to waste... it's skeleton will end up in a museum and the meat (which can be fried up quite nicely) will end up in persons' bellies....
Posted by salamander dork  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  10:06 PM
Sunny greetings from Mauritius!! I knew there was something fishy. These people do not look like Americans. While checking I found your website. Thanks and keep it up.
Posted by Sabine Moosooliah  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  12:02 AM
What a sad picture! Why does it seem we destroy everything we come across. That crocodile, killed for whatever reason, should be alive, not strung up because other humans fear it. Even though all signs say this image is a hoax, someone had to kill that poor animal.
Posted by Burnsinblack  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  08:28 AM
As if it isnt bad enough that people died in NO, now there has to be some rediculous email circulating. As soon as I saw that I new it was junk!
Posted by ANGIE  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  09:48 AM
When I saw this email, my eyebrows lowered because it just sounded like something was wrong. I knew about alligators in that area, but I thought crocodiles...okay, maybe. Anyway, now that I know, I've since apologized to those who asked me about it and sent this site to my friend who sent the message to me. They are incredible pictures that didn't need to be sensationalized.
Posted by Tricia  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  10:18 AM
Even Utahns can tell the difference between reality and a hoax. It was probably someone in Wyoming or Idaho that started this. This is like saying the fish in the Great Salt Lake swim backwards to keep the salt out of their eyes....
Posted by Jason  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  11:08 AM
There are a couple of other clues indicating that this isn't in America. The men standing around in the pictures are obviously "true" Africans and not African American. Most African Americans are lighter in skin pigmentation. Not to mention the clothes that they are wearing. Also, given the media frenzy, such an event would have made the news in a big way. The markings on side of the container are also strange looking.
Posted by Harold  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  11:33 AM
Kade is the jerk that didn't believe the email and here is the real truth about the croc. Sorry to ruin your day. He likes to do that. Ashley
Posted by LaRee Sperry  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  01:12 PM
For completeness can somebody on this forum write
important points of difference between alligators
and crocodiles? Also, can I find one of these in
Iceland? (to eat of course) I am sick of eating
these damn seals round the year!
Posted by Igloo  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  01:37 PM
I belive that that a crocodile but just not from the U.S.. Especialy not over in N.O. Somebody dosen't have thir facts straight. :-{
Posted by The 1 and Only  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  01:43 PM
Posted by Louise  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  10:45 PM
Were there any Alligators found in New Orleans after the storm was over. When thay started pumping the water out of the city. I could see were thay may be atracted bye the smill of dead bodys? But there has'nt been ant report of seeing any in the city ? Just wondering ???
Posted by Rick Cavitt  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  06:59 AM
Poor thing. Only man can ruin this world for all creatures who share it with us. Notice these are all guys?. These are the humans that should have been on the menu. <slurp> yum!
Posted by Wando'  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  07:04 AM
I knew this was fake the second I saw it & read the story. The only Crocs in the US are the American Croc, and this is obviously a Nile Croc. Amer Crocs are found only in Florida. They never get too old to catch animals, as they are ambush hunters. And those people! They are definitely NOT american - I wish we dressed that nice in this country. Called it B.S. right away
Posted by nunz  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  07:33 AM
I wonder..... where in the whole grand scheme of things do you guys see a license plate. Your words "license plate on the truck is not american." Is as big a lie as the pictures. Next time try to keep your smartness exactly where it belongs. To you.
Posted by None  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  07:54 AM
Someone asked the question as to where are the 'gators in New Orleans after Katrina hit. If the water was so polluted that people were getting chemical burns, then isn't it reasonable to expect the 'gators and snakes to NOT stick around? I expect we'll hear about these when the water is cleansed a bit more.
Posted by Bob Mitchell  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  07:57 AM
Why is there an American Crocodile then? And why can it be readily found here in Florida? Was your book missing a few pages? I seriously doubt the stories authenticity, but with an act of Nature the size and magnitude of that storm I'm not going to hastily pass off any of the stories that come out of N.O.
Posted by Robie  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  08:02 AM
Some people have left some really stupid comments. Sideways baseball caps and baggy pants - that was just wrong to try to sterio type all black people. I work with black people decked out in suits and ties.

As far as the poor animal having to die. I guess I should have respect for those that believe in the rights of animals. I personally have no problem with the thing being dead if they had no way to capture it safely. It did however need to be away from where humans were.

Some guy also said crocs don't exist in the states - research before you post buddy. There are crocs in south Florida - although they don't generally get as large as crocs in other parts of the world. Florida might be the only place that crocs and alligators coexist - notice I said "might be" though.
Posted by mike  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  10:18 AM
I work for a large insurance company and this email got circulated through hundreds of our agencies. It only took a few hours to debunk it as a hoax, but it goes to show how damaging phoney emails can be. Somehow, the origin of the email implied that the photos were from a pending insurance claim with our company, so the believability was real for many staff people. Now we're spending even more hours circulating the hoax factor, what a waste of time and money this created.
Posted by mary  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  10:26 AM
True crocs are not native to NO but there are zoos and other establishments that might have monster crocs. But good to know that there wasn't one swimming around making things worse for NO
Posted by B Kennedy  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  10:29 AM
I knew this was fake the first time i saw it.If it was true the news stations would still be talking about it. Also all black guys do not have dreadlocks,wear the caps to the side or wear baggy pants.
Posted by kitty  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  11:29 AM
I get so many email hoaxes that I HAD to verify it before I hit forward. It also bothered me that I couldn't see a license plate.
Posted by Ms. D  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  11:45 AM
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