The pond is located in Paga in the Upper East Region of Ghana, and is 44 kilometres (27 mi) outside Bolgatanga, the regional capital. It is inhabited by wild West African crocodiles, with some up to 90 years old. The crocodiles are so tame that local children can swim in the pond alongside them without being harmed.

The locally told origin of the pond was that a crocodile brought a dying man to the pond to drink, who after surviving, declared the pond to be sacred and that no harm should come to the crocodiles.Another story states that a man was trapped against the water’s edge by a lion, when he bargained with a crocodile that none of his children would harm his kind if he would kill the lionIt is believed that the souls of the people of Paga resides in these crocodiles.It is an offence to kill crocodiles in Paga, or eat crocodile meat.

Tourist holding the tail of the crocodile

The crocodiles at Paga are very friendly. Visitors can sit, touch and take photographs with the crocodiles. The crocodiles roam freely throughout the ponds, and are brought to the shore when the guides whistle loudly. Tourists can then take photographs while holding the crocodile’s tails, after the guide has fed them a chicken. There are concerns that the pond is now too reliant on tourism, with caretaker Salifu Awewozem saying in 2009 that the elderly crocodiles require specialist care, and the only time additional food is provided to the reptiles is when tourists pay for the chickens when they pose for photographs.

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