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Bazoule, in Burkina Faso, is a sprawling lakeside village around 30 kilometers from the capital Ouagadougou, with a very unique tradition—for many generations residents of this village have been living in harmony with more than a hundred ferocious crocodiles that live in the village pond, the same pond where children swim and bath and the womenfolk fetch water from.

Bazoule’s crocodiles are a distant relative to the larger and more aggressive Nile crocodile. They are a species of their own—Crocodylus suchus—also known as the West African crocodile or desert crocodiles because they are mostly found in forested regions and open habitats. These crocodiles, or rather their ancestors, have adapted to the changing environment in northern Africa, from lush savannah and grasslands 10,000 years ago to the hot and arid Sahara that it is now.


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