Pua is very patient and slow to anger. Like Mufasa, he is a firm believer in the Circle of Life. Because of this, Pua, like Kion, recognizes that fighting isn't always necessary and that sometimes you must accept defeat as shown when he tells Kion to back down when he doesn't want to fight. He also has great humility as shown when he ignored Makuu's taunts after he was overthrown by him and when he tells Kion that Makuu is stronger than him and won the mashindano that ended his leadership fair and square. All this has made him a wise leader who is held in high esteem to the point where the Royal Family, the Lion Guard, and the Pride Animals had misgivings about the mashindano and felt his successor left much to be desired as shown when Simba, while acceptant, tells Makuu "You have very thick skin to fill" before thanking Pua for his leadership. However, it was shown in a flashback to Kion's youth in The Morning Report that he was not as welcoming to other animals trespassing in his float's territory, and did not have any problem with Makuu eating them. Even then, though, he was reasonable enough to give them one warning, held great respect for Simba, and was impressed by Zazu's bravery while facing Makuu. resulting in him allowing him, Kion, and Bunga to leave peacefully.
Pua is an old, hunched, and winkled Nile Crocodile with mud green scales, a dotted hide, and pale underbelly.
- Animal Strength: While Pua's strength is not as good as Makuu's, Pua made up for it with greater skills in combat.
- Expert Combatant: Pua's combat skills are greater than Makuu's, as noted by Basi.
- Animal Stamina: Pua was able to fight Makuu for a certain period of time, but he was eventually worn out by old age.
- Animal Endurance: Pua was able to take the attacks from Makuu.
- High-Level Intellect/Leader: Pua is highly intelligent; as he knows eating the fish will cause the problems for the Circle of Life and knowing that Makuu isn't ready for the leadership, but deep down he knew he will learn from his own mistakes to become a great leader and giving advice to the Lion Guard to back down. He is known to care for his kind deeply as he promised them to feed them when the time is right, but he has even shown his kindness to other animals and was far too much as Makuu question his leadership, thinking he was afraid of the hippos, but he knows the Circle of Life is far more important than anything.
Role in the series
When Pua takes his float to Big Springs, he asks Basi if it's all right for the crocodiles to eat the fish. After Basi politely declines, explaining that there is not enough fish to feed the float, Pua respectfully leaves. However, a young crocodile named Makuu, believing that the float has a right to the fish challenges him to a mashindano for control over the float. As the animals of the Pride Lands gather to witness the mashindano, Pua and Makuu combat each other, with Pua using impressive techniques to gain the upper hand over Makuu. However, he soon gets tired and Makuu is victorious over the aged Pua. Simba comes forward, recognizing Makuu's leadership, and thanks Pua for his service.
Makuu's leadership proves to be malignant in the Pride Lands, however, as he begins wrecking havoc across the lands. Kion seeks Pua to call for another mashindano to reclaim leadership, but Pua reminds Kion that Makuu is much stronger than him and won leadership fairly. He then advises Kion to back down if he's not willing to fight Makuu.
It seems most likely he wanted Makuu to learn his lesson to see how the Pride Land will go big disaster for not following Circle of Life ways as Pua stated his belief that though Makuu left much to be desired compared to himself, he could learn. Even Mufasa seemed to agree with Pua to back down.
Pua is seen for a few seconds in this episode. When Beshte and Mtoto are underwater, Pua can be seen floating on the surface in the corner. He does not chase them, unlike the rest of the crocodiles in the lake.
Pua is mentioned by Kion when he expresses his concerns about Makuu joining the Savannah Summit to his father, mentioning that whilst working with other animals might be alright for his predecessor, Pua, the same cannot be said for Makuu. However, Makuu proved he is now capable of reason and is ready to change, ultimately confirming Pua's belief that Makuu would eventually learn to be a proper leader for the crocodiles' integrity in the Pride Lands.
In a flashback to when Kion and Bunga were younger, they got in trouble with Pua for trespassing in crocodile territory. At the time, Pua would usually allow Makuu to eat any trespasser who failed to comply. As Zazu offered himself up to Makuu to take responsibility for Kion and Bunga's actions, Pua admired Zazu's bravery, and decides to let them go, while advising Kion to not trespass again.
When Kion was an infant cub, Pua showed annoyance at his friend's impudence, which spilled onto his feelings towards Kion. When hearing that Kion was Simba's son, he allowed him to leave, warning him not to return again uninvited.
When Pua was defeated by Makuu, an older Kion later sought help from the former crocodile leader, believing him to be a wise leader. Although he could not help Kion too much, Pua offered Kion some sound advice, showing trust towards both him and Makuu.
When Bunga was a infant he went on an "adventure" with his best friend Kion. They ran away from Zazu and found Pua's Float, Bunga arrogantly taunts the float, and Pua asks for the kids to leave. When Bunga accidentally challenges Makuu, Zazu arrives in and offers himself to be eaten instead of the son of the king. Bunga and Kion promise never to come uninvited again.
Later, Bunga appears to have gotten over his arrogance towards Pua's float, respecting the crocodile.
Pua first met Zazu when the hornbill was taking care of a much younger Kion and Bunga. Zazu seemed to harbor respect for Pua for his pragmatism and reasonability, questioning if he was willing to knowingly let Makuu eat Simba's son. Although the cubs had broken the rules by entering uninvited, Zazu offered himself as a meal in their place. Not wishing to anger King Simba and seeing the bravery displayed by Zazu after he entered Makuu's mouth willingly, Pua respected Zazu, allowing him to collect the children and leave alive and unharmed.
Pua shows a great deal of respect for King Simba at all times. Even when his young son and his best friend invade Pua's territory, when learning that the cub belongs to Simba, Pua is hesitant to harm him in any way, solely based on how great a King he perceives Simba to be.
When Pua loses the Mashindano, he bows to Simba after being thanked for his years of service, and thanks the King back in honor.
Basi and Pua appear to be good friends, and always speak to one another in a casual, friendly manner. When there are too many fish in Big Springs, Basi allows Pua's float to enter and eat up all the excess fish. When Basi asks him to come back next week since there still aren't enough fish, Pua is only too happy to comply with his request, even though Makuu was not quite as willing. Like everyone else, Basi was dismayed by the end of his friend's leadership.
Pua has a good relationship with the other Lion Guard members. When Makuu's float took over "Big Springs" they went to Pua for advice even Pua just told them to back down.
Despite Makuu's feelings towards him, Pua does not show any ill feelings towards the now-leader of his float, even after he was defeated by the younger crocodile in a Mashindano and taunted after his loss. Although Pua admits his low opinion of Makuu's arrogance, the elder crocodile always believed in his successor's reformation, positive that he just needed time to learn the true importance of the Circle of Life. Eventually, Makuu gradually does learn the importance of peaceful compromise and negotiation that Pua followed, just like the latter hoped.
- Pua appears as an enemy in The Lion Guard (App).
- Out of all of the former leaders, Pua is the only one that's still alive.
- Pua means "nose” or “steel" in Swahili.