42 km from the Chennai city, Madras/Chennai Crocodile Bank was founded with an aim to protect and conserve the endangered crocodiles and reptiles. Wildlife in Chennai, Chennai Wildlife,Crocodile Bank,Chennai Crocodile Bank,Crocodile Bank in Chennai,Chennai Crocodile Bank Today, it houses crocodiles that are kept in their natural surroundings and the pools.
The lush green tropical forests provide shade to the thousands of crocodilians basking around the shores of the water with jaws wide open. Wildlife in Chennai, Chennai Wildlife,Crocodile Bank,Chennai Crocodile Bank,Crocodile Bank in Chennai,Chennai Crocodile Bank Also known as Chennai Crocodile Bank, this crocodile conservation centre is the largest croc-breeding site in India. The visit to the place gives a feeling of being one with the aqua world with the faint smell of fish and moss in the air and dampness of the place.
The splashing of waters as the crocodiles jumps in or feeding crabs to them is a scene that looks creepy. Enclosed in pens or the Marsh or Mugger breeding pit, these long-jawed, sharp-teethed creatures look as formidable as ever and reminds one of the 'Jurassic Park', the recreation of the age of reptiles.
Crocodile Bank and Breeding Centre was started in 1976 with just twenty-five reptiles and they have eagerly multiplied to about 7,000 inmates, especially Muggers. Wildlife in Chennai, Chennai Wildlife,Crocodile Bank,Chennai Crocodile Bank,Crocodile Bank in Chennai,Chennai Crocodile Bank At that time, this creature was on the brink of extinction because of its valuable hide. The Bank houses about seven crocodilian species out of the 25 found in world-over, out of which, three are exclusively Indian including the 3.6 m long Marsh or Mugger, the 4 to 5 m long Gharials (the crocodile with the longest jaw and pot-like snout; and 8 m long Saltwater crocodiles, the largest of all reptiles.
The last of all weighs about 900 kg and are found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Sunderbans in West Bengal and in coastal Orissa. The difference between species is in the arrangement of the jaws and head bones. The Crocodile Bank also conducts research work on these crocodiles, turtles and monitor lizards.
The Chennai Crocodile Bank is located about 44 Km from the Chennai city. This crocodile bank houses several species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators. Here, the crocodiles are kept in their natural environment in open pools and can be viewed from safe proximity. The Crocodile farm at Chennai was set up to increase the crocodile population of the wildlife sanctuaries in the country.
The Crocodile Bank is spread over an area of about 3.2 hectares. The bank offers a green bed of tropical vegetation, which provides sufficient shade to the crocodiles inside the bank. The crocodile Bank has about seven crocodilian species including three Indian types. The Indian species include the 3.6-meter long Marsh/Mugger variety (which is the most widely distributed species), the four to five meter long Gharials (the crocodile with the longest jaw) and the saltwater crocodiles, the largest of reptiles.
The Chennai/Madras Crocodile Bank was started to protect the dwindling crocodile population. This bank has already produced more than 6,000 crocodiles till now. One more attraction is the snake farm where anti venom is produced. The snake venom extractions are a great pull to the visitors to the bank.
Crocodiles perform a significant ecological role as predators and scavengers. In their role as scavengers and predators, they help to raise the genetic quality of their prey by feeding on the sick, weak and injured fish. It is interesting to note that the Crocodile Bank also conducts research on turtles and monitor lizards, which are crocodile's environmental partners, found in common environs. In India, there are about 26 species of turtles, of which many are endangered.
How to Reach the Crocodile Bank
Air: Chennai is the nearest airport and connected with all the major cities in India.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Chengalpattu (29 km) and Chennai (42 km).
Road: There are regular bus services available from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai. The Crocodile Bank is on the way to Mahabalipuram.
More great attractions can be found in the Explore Wildlife in India page.