Johannesburg, Dec 16:
Henry, the world’s oldest crocodile, turned 114 Tuesday and will be the star at a birthday bash with balloons and cake for all well-wishers.
Henry’s party is being held at “Crocworld” in the South African city of Scottsburgh where employees of the nature reserve briefed Efe news agency on the reptile’s life story.
Henry was born in 1900 and began his life as a source of terror for one of the tribes in Botswana which inhabits a delta area on the Okavango River, said centre director Martin Rodrigues.
Documents cited by the South African press prove that the crocodile has eaten several men and children.
Rodrigues said that an elephant hunter called Sir Henry was contracted by the tribe to capture the crocodile.
Once in custody, Henry was sentenced by tribal leaders to life in captivity and given the elephant hunter’s name.
After surviving two world wars and the independence of Botswana and most of the African countries while in custody, Henry was transferred to the centre in 1985 and has remained there ever since.
Henry is the most visited animal in the centre and weighs around 1,100 pounds, measures 16 feet in length and lives with a harem of six female crocodiles.
The old croc is believed to have fathered at least 7,000 offspring. (IANS)