Crocodile Spotting in Goa

Crocodile Watching in Goa

Many tourists are taken by surprise that Goa is home to the Wild Crocodiles too and that they survive and thrive in their very own natural environment. Though popularly called as, “Crocodile Spotting” in Goa, we would love to accurately call it, “Crocodile Watching”. The reason being, that Crocodiles are many and easy to spot, because being cold blooded animals, crocodiles of Goa need to spend a lot of time in the sun to keep themselves warm. Hence you can see them sunbathing on the muddy shores of the Cumbarjua canal. Once spotted on the banks of the Cumbarjua Canal then these lazy Goa Crocs do not move, so you can comfortably watch them from a safe distance without disturbing their lifestyle.

Where can one spot Crocodiles in Goa?

Only two Crocodile watching spots exist in the full of Goa. Crocodiles of Goa can be spotted at Opa River and in the brackish waters of the Cumbarjua Canal.

About Cumbarjua Canal in Goa
The Cumbarjua Canal in Goa can be called the Crocodile Canal of Goa. Since it’s a Canal, so it connects the two main and major rivers of Goa that is Mandovi and the Zuari. The connecting length of the Cumbarjua Canal between Mandovi River and Zuari River is around 15 kms. The lively mangrove habitat serves as a reproducing ground for fish, prawns, molluscs, birdlife and crocodiles. One can notice around 40-50 Crocodiles within the length and breadth of the Cumbarjua Canal in Goa.

What is this, “Mangee Thapnee” Festival?

In the Durbhatwadi village along the canal the crocs are even worshipped on the day of the new moon in January, as the guardian spirit of the community. In many parts of the world, the fear of crocodiles has been sustained by religious rites and beliefs. A stone crocodile is venerated at the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. In Gujarat, 03 tribal communities worship Mugger Dev. In Kathiawar, a crocodile is the mount of the deity Khodlyar Mata.

Are the crocodiles of Goa dangerous to human presence?

Accidentally speaking, it is always safer to keep safe distance from the crocodiles, even though they are docile, lazy and not interested in humans as prey or food. From a conservationists point of view the crocodiles are more in danger from humans, the greedy humans who want to exploit any and all wildlife just to support his basic needs.
 Most of the Cumbarjua crocodiles are comfortable with the human presence; it’s always the tourists in Goa who are more scared of the Goan Crocs. If any person ventures too close, the crocs just jump into water and move away. Human beings are not endangered or even near to getting extinct but the crocodiles have been known to be hunted by animal poachers worldwide for their beautiful tough skin and here in our country of India Crocodiles are considered endangered and equally same as Tigers.

What type of Crocodiles exists in Goa?

The breeds of crocodiles that exist in Goa are the Crocodylus Palustris type. The Cumbarjua Canal breed is exclusive and different as these crocs are freshwater crocodiles but they have adjusted to the salinity (salt) of the saline mangrove ecosystem of Goa. This type of Crocodile in Goa is purely endemic to Goa region only as they are not to be found anywhere else in Asia. It is believed that about 100 years ago, some of these crocodiles were transported or introduced in the waters to keep away enemies.

What are crocodiles called in Goa?

In Goa, in the local Konkani language, crocodiles are called, “Mugger” in Goa.

Do the Goa Crocodiles attack humans?

NO. Absolutely not. There is not even one instance of any human being or tourist being attacked by a crocodile. The Goan Crocodiles are very susegad, very docile, lazy and always basking in the Goan sun. In the recorded history of Goa there is no mention of humans being attacked by the Crocodiles of Cumbarjua Canal. These fresh-water crocodiles of Goa are fundamentally scavengers who also prey on sick fish and birds as well as crabs, dogs, cats, and - the very big ones on buffaloes or deer. They may even eat rocks to act as ballast and help them stay underwater for up to an hour at a stretch. But they don't eat much and get hungry only once every two weeks or so.

Do not miss the Crocodiles of Goa during their Mating Season

Go on Crocodile boat tour in Goa and see from a close and safe distance the mating behaviour of Crocodiles in Goa. Similar to human beings, crocodiles too live a long span of 60 to 80 years of healthy life. The mating season of Crocodiles begins in November every year and ends in February. The mating months of the Goa crocodiles coincides with the tourist season of Goa, so the tourists are lucky to get close and watch the spectacular sights of crocs thrashing, jaw slapping, blowing of water bubbles, that is the mating rituals of crocodiles in Goa to attract the female of their species.