While you aren’t likely to encounter one, there are a couple of crocodile types in Vietnam. Both the saltwater and Siamese have been spotted in this subtropical southeast Asian nation.
The lush and varied Vietnamese countryside is home to a magnitude of wildlife. Naturally, with all the water, jungles and warm temperatures, one would wonder if it’s home to (m)any crocodiles.
The saltwater crocodile’s attack, and its death roll, would no doubt cause severe injury and likely death. Despite being one of the largest reptiles in the world (reaching up to 7 meters), it easily camouflages itself from its prey. With an ability to hold its breath for up to seven hours, it can sneak up on its victim.
Saltwater crocodiles are not commonly found since they have been hunted near the point of extinction. However, if they are to be seen, it will be in the riverways and jungles of Vietnam. While they can handle saltwater for a few days (despite their name), they primarily live in freshwater swamps, lakes, rivers, and ponds.
This freshwater crocodile is on the critically endangered list and is considered to be near extinction. There are thought to be less than 100 left in the wild and most of those live in Cambodia. However, these crocodiles, which can grow up to 3 meters, have been found in Vietnam as well.
It is thought that the last Siamese crocodile in Vietnam was killed by hunters, but some natives say they have been spotted in lakes. While hunters seek these animals for their skins and eggs, their habitat (marshes, lakes, swamps, slow moving rivers) have also been disrupted by hydroelectric dams and sand dragging.
So, while a crocodile sighting may be a rare occurrence in Vietnam, you should certainly keep your guard up when in the wetlands or by the waters’ edge.