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Attacks by Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) on Humans and Livestock in the Sudd Wetlands, South Sudan

John Sebit Benansio, Gift Simon Demaya, Daniele Dendi, Luca Luiselli


Nile Crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, are widespread along the riverine systems and wetlands of East Africa, and may locally be involved into serious conflicts with local human communities. A research study was conducted to investigate Human-Crocodiles Conflicts (HCC) and its impacts on lives and livelihoods of local communities in the Sudd Wetlands in South Sudan (East Africa). The methodology involved face-to-face interviews and structured questionnaire to fishers and other persons from riverine communities. The questionnaire focused on (i) numbers of attacks by Nile Crocodiles on humans and livestock, (ii) months of attacks, (iii) locations of attacks, and (iv) activity of victims at the time of attacks, from 2018 to 2020. The majority of the interviewees responded that Nile Crocodiles do represent a serious threat to their lives: a total of 23 persons were attacked and killed by crocodiles between 2018 and 2020, with 100% of the attacks to humans being fatal. In addition, 166 heads of livestock were killed during the same period, and a total of 355 livestock were attacked (most of them escaped the attack). The present study revealed that the peak season of attacks by crocodiles was the dry season (October – March), and that there is urgent need of environmental education and awareness for local riverine communities in order to minimize the intensity of the HCC in South Sudan.


Crocodylidae; human-crocodiles conflicts; face-to-face interviews; East Africa

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