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The largest crocodiles in Europe!

The largest crocodiles in Europe!

The crocodile Paco with wide open jaws sitting on the riverside of the pool of its enclosure.

The largest crocodiles of Europe call Crocodile Park their home

The largest crocodile in Europe was Paco, which lived in Crocodile Park Torremolinos. It was 5 meters long and weighted 600 kilograms.

Paco, the largest crocodile of Europe

On March 5th 1999, Crocodile Park in Torremolinos welcomed the arrival of a Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), that came all the way from one of the largest crocodile farms in South Africa. He was named Paco, and he ended up measuring 5 meters long and weighting 600 kilograms. A true beast. He was locally know as Big Daddy. His extraordinary size merited him the title of largest crocodile in Europe, which he held until February 2018, when he died. The Crocodile Park family farewelled this magnificent animal, which lived nearly 20 years in our facilities.

Today, the memory of Paco lives in Crocodiles Park. His body was desiccated by professional taxidermists, and today it is publicly exposed in the crocodile museum at Crocodile Park. Now all visitors can learn from this historic specimen.

The reproduction of the Nile crocodile

The future of this large reptile pedigree is bright in Crocodile Park. One of Paco’s sons is sexually quite active and during mating season he engages in a ritual to attract females to the water, where crocodiles mate, which consists of making loud clicking sounds with his jaws.

One month after the fertilization, the crocodile mother digs a hole in the ground and lays somewhat between 50 and 70 eggs, which are covered with sand. After that, the nest is fiercely protected by the female crocodile and nothing (and no one) is allowed near it. The consequences are fatal to those that are seen as a threat by this animal.

After a hatching period of three months, the new little crocodiles are born. Did you know that the sex of these animals is determined by the temperature of the hatching period? If the temperature is somewhere above 30ºC, they will most likely be males. On the contrary, a temperature below 30ºC will make them female. This allows the veterinarians of Crocodile Park for a better population control by hatching the eggs in controlled artificial environments.