The story of the crocodile Eleanor has sparked rumors and legends. She was discovered on March 7, 1984 very young in the sewers of Paris. It then measured between 70 and 80 centimeters according to the testimony of one of the firefighters who recovered it at the time and who testifies in this report from the archives of France Televisions.
History does not tell how this crocodile ended up in the sewers of the capital. It may have been reported by travelers suppose Samuel Martin, the director of the Ferme aux Crocodiles de Pierrelatte: “People can have a crush on an animal when they travel. You have to imagine that in Egypt, until recently, until 20/30 years ago, you were offered little crocodile babies . And then you bring a little crocodile back to Paris and you realize that it’s not easy to keep! It’s a guess, we don’t know, Eleanor didn’t tell us her story! “
From the Vannes aquarium to the Pierrelatte crocodile farm
In the 1980s, it was the Vannes aquarium in Brittany that took in the animal. Eleanor lives there 36 years. She is alone in her enclosure: over there, she is the only one of her kind. The aquarium must close for long work. Eleanor is entrusted to the Ferme aux Crocodiles in Pierrelatte. She arrived in the Drôme a fortnight ago.
A radical change of life for Eleanor who discovers 300 fellow Nile crocodiles: “it goes well” underlines Samuel Martin, the director of the Ferme aux Crocos, “It’s always complicated to analyze, but we have the feeling that she is at ease, that she enjoys discovering her new environment and her comrades”. A male of the same age would not have been able to join Pierrelatte park; the other males in the group would not have accepted him and would have killed him.
Eleanor should experience her first lovemaking this winter: “it is very likely yes” continues Samuel Martin, “We have about 20 males, some very enterprising! There is a good chance that in January / February she will mate for the first time.”
Will Eleanor end her days at the Ferme aux Crocs?
Eleanor is recognizable today. It has a lighter color, is paler yellow than the other Nile crocodiles on the Farm. Perhaps because it has a different geographical origin (Nile crocodiles are found from the mouth of the Nile to South Africa and the island of Madagascar, with small morphological differences). Maybe because she had less sun in her enclosure in Vannes. Will the Breton aquarium want to recover it after its work? “We don’t know at this stage” says Samuel Martin, “If they want to introduce crocodilians again, we’ll send them some. It could be Eleanor, but she might be less recognizable in a while and it won’t be easy to recapture her among the others. offer Vannes crocodilians that are smaller but also have an educational interest. “
A Nile crocodile lives for a hundred years. Eleanor therefore still has 60 beautiful years ahead of her. She who measured 70/80 centimeters in the sewers of Paris is now 2.50 meters.