The most peaceful crocodiles live in Burkina Faso


The settlement of Basule in Burkina Faso is a vast village on the shore of a lake 30 kilometers from the capital of Ouagadougou. The village has a unique tradition – many generations of the inhabitants of this village live in harmony with more than one hundred ferocious crocodiles living in a village pond. Children are bathing in the same pond, and women are washing clothes.
The crocodiles of Basule are far from the larger and more aggressive Nile crocodile. They are a separate species – Crocodylus suchus – also known as West African, or desert crocodiles. They are mainly found in wooded areas and open habitats. These crocodiles, or rather their ancestors, have adapted to the changing environment in northern Africa, from the lush savannah and meadows 10,000 years ago to the hot and arid Sahara in the present days.
This neighborhood with dangerous reptiles here does not bother anyone – even the most elderly villagers will not remember a single case of an attack of a crocodile on a man. In the Bazule, crocodiles are something like stray cats – local feed them with chicken or remnants of food from their table, pat them and even try to play with them. There are no crocodiles here, moreover, these predators are sacred here – the villagers believe that reptiles have come down from the sky along with the rains, and if they disappear, then the rains will disappear, and this is a real catastrophe for the arid local climate.

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