Crocodiles may be one of the deadliest most brutal creature in the animal kingdom, but in a small village of Bazoule in Burkina Faso the villagers have no problem living alongside them. In fact it is not unusual to see someone sitting on one of the fearsome reptiles.
In Burkina Faso, just 30 kilometers away from the capital of Ouagadougou, there is a small village of Bazoule, where despite the fearsome reputation of crocodiles, the villagers (Mossi) have no problem living alongside the ferocious crocodiles that live in the village pond, the same pond where children swim and bath and the women fetch water from. So far none of the villagers have ever been harmed by the reptiles.
According to local legend, the startling relationship between the villagers (Mossi) and the ferocious hunters dates back to at least the 15th century.
The village was in the grip of an agonising drought until the crocodiles led women to a hidden pond where the population could quench their thirst.
This not only allowed the Mossi to survive, but also led to the founding of Bazoule.
Because the villagers were so grateful towards the crocodiles, they started caring for and living side by side with them, having funerals and burying them after death, as they do for their human companions.
The Mossi also throw a celebratory festival every year in their honor — Koom Lakre — during which villagers make sacrifices and ask the reptiles to grant their wishes of health, prosperity and a good harvest.
Not only are the crocodiles regarded as protectors of Bazoule, but they are also seen as soothsayers that grant wishes, especially during Koom Lakre.
The strange relationship in the small village of Bazoule has attracted a lot of attention. Over the years, tourists have flocked to the village, looking to catch a glimpse of the unlikely bond man and beast.
Interestingly, this is not the only place where people and crocodiles live side by side, in harmony. The people of Paga, a small village in Ghana, are also famous for bathing in a nearby pond with over 100 crocodiles. Locals claim that no one in the village has ever been killed by the ferocious Animal.