The Nile Crocodile (Crocodilus vulgaris) lived in Palestine till the begining of the twentieth century. Nahr (River) Al Zarka, near Caesarea, was called the Crocodile river (Nahr Al Timsah, in Arabic). Since about 1000 D.C. crusaders and geographers have continuously been reporting it as the Crocodile river. In 1877 a grey-green Crocodile was found. It was 3 m long, with 48 eggs in its abdomen, one of which is now in the Senkenberg Museum. The Beduins, who inhabit the swamps, have repeatedly reported losses of human life and goats. Some individuals have been seen in the Kishon and possibly also in the Yarkon. They probably did not breed there, but may have arrived there by way of the shore. 5 -6 specimens have actually been captured during the nineteenth century. Another specimen was found there at the end of the first war. Since that time the whole swamp to the south of the Carmel has been properly drained and the Israeli Benjamina settlement was built on their main breeding place. Since that time no other specimen was recorded.
Palestine is the only locality, besides Africa, where it has lived. From the zoogeographical point of view, however, its occurence here is no more difficult to understand than its presence in Africa Minor, north of the Sahara, where it likewise became extinct.