Normal intestinal flora of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Bacterial and fungal cultures were performed from cloacal swabs collected from 29 wild Nile crocodiles, captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Sixteen species of bacteria and 6 fungal species were cultured. Individual crocodiles yielded 1-4 bacterial species, and 0-2 fungal species. The most commonly isolated bacteria were Microbacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Escherichia coli. No salmonellae were cultured. The most commonly occurring fungus was Cladosporium. Several of the bacterial and fungal species isolated have been implicated in cases of septicaemia in crocodilians. Knowledge of the normal intestinal flora will contribute towards the development of a crocodile-specific probiotic for use in farmed crocodiles.