The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology (MCBT) is a reptile zoo and herpetology research station, located 40 km south of the Chennai on the East Coast Road. Head in the direction of Mahabalipuram and you will find the Crocodile Park of Chennai – home to several species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators. Started in 1976 by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, the Crocodile Park is spread over 3.2 hectares of lush vegetation.
It was established with the aim of saving three Indian endangered species of crocodile – the marsh or mugger crocodile, the saltwater crocodile, and the gharial, which at the time were all nearing extinction.
One of the main attractions of the bank is the Crocodile Conservation Center. It is the largest breeding center of crocodiles in India and has bred thousands of crocodiles since its inception. The captive breeding program at the crocodile bank has been highly successful, with thousands of crocodiles reintroduced to the wild and more still sent to zoos and wildlife parks around the world. All three, namely, the mugger, the gharial, and the saltwater crocodile, remain endangered, while the gharial is critically endangered and now faces extinction. The bank is currently home to over 2400 crocodiles, and also houses many species of turtles, snakes, and lizards which are viewable by the public.
Visiting Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm (Monday – Holiday)