Heavy metals in muscle tissue of healthy crocodiles from the Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract:

Mass mortality of Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) occurred in the Olifants River of the Kruger National Park (KNP) in 2008 from pansteatitis, a condition in which body fat becomes yellow and inflamed. Much research has been carried out, but the cause(s) of the outbreak in the KNP remains unknown (Ashton, 2010; Ferreira & Pienaar, 2011; Woodborne et al., 2012; Bouwman et al., 2014). Anthropogenic factors such as heavy metal pollution have been suggested as a potential cause (e.g. Bouwman et al., 2014). We found only three studies from Africa on heavy metals in wild crocodiles (Table 1). The aim of this study was to assess the concentrations of heavy metals and metalloids in wild and apparently healthy crocodiles in the KNP