When we hear the word pet – the first thing that probably comes to our mind is a cute puppy fondly licking your face or a cat cuddling in your arm or birds chirping in a happy tune while perching on your wrist. It may come as a shock to most of you that there are people who prefer to keep something dangerous with large jaws and sharp teeth fitted into them, as their pets. Yes it’s the crocodile! People in Australia actually keep these reptiles as their pets that are allowed outside the premises of the zoo. These reptiles have been trained in such a way that they have become friendly and kept open to roam about the households freely.
There are owners like Rhett, who have domesticated this reptile with so much of perfection that he takes it along to swim with him in the nearby pond. It is definitely not advisable to keep such dangerous creature as a pet or even try to domesticate them, but well there are always exceptions, aren’t there? Here are a set of answers for obvious questions that would arise in the minds of people fiddling with the idea of petting one of these kinds.
Is it legal to keep crocodile as a pet?
Well, it is nearly impossible to get permission to keep these animals and domesticate them. This applies for all other reptiles as well.
Can I catch one in the wild?
No, it is not legal to take any reptile and keep it as a pet. In the Northern Territory, to keep a crocodile pet you need to have proper license. You have the permission to keep it until it grows to 60 cm in length. A crocodile can easily attain that length in about a year though. If you are staying in an area built up of crocodiles, you have to return it to the crocodile care facility. But if you are based in a rural area, you can continue to keep it though it is not advisable as it is not a very safe thing to do. In Victoria, if you want to keep a crocodile as a pet, you need to have a private wildlife license. You will have to follow a number of important regulations so that safety of everyone living in the neighborhood is ensured.
How hard is it to look after a crocodile?
After you gain approval to keep a crocodile, it is not an easy job to raise the same. Your life is always at stake when you are dealing with such ferocious predators. You need to take care of a lot of things. You need to be careful about safety of the members in the house as well as the people in neighborhood. It is really hard and only those people who really have love for these species can actually do it properly. It is advisable to first get trained with other dangerous creatures before trying to domesticate a crocodile.
Apart from all these, the crocodile itself needs a lot of care and lot of money has to be spent on it. It needs as much of care and dedication required to raise a turtle but only on a much larger scale. You also need to make a crocodile enclosure for your pet’s safety.
You need to have a lot of space for it. It should have a pond filled with filtered water. If it is filled with warm water the better it is for the crocodile. The enclosure should be properly fenced so that it does not come out and terrorize the neighbors. For a crocodile to grow up properly, it requires a lot of vitamin D. Thus, it should be exposed to sunlight as much as possible.
It is definitely not advisable to bring up a crocodile on your own. You need to get professional help. It is better to have vets visiting the enclosure and looking after your crocodile from time to time. So it is important to find an expert vet for your pet.
What is preferable? A salt water crocodile or a fresh water crocodile?
That depends from one person to another. Maintaining a fresh water crocodile is usually much easier than a salt water crocodile because you have to make special saline water for the latter. But if you are planning to keep a crocodile of a length not more than 60 cm, then a salt water crocodile is a better option as it does not grow much.
Looking after health issues
Crocodiles need a lot of calcium for proper development of bones. It is important to feed your crocodile food items other than just meat. The diet should be accompanied with bones as well. This will help the crocodile to adapt to harsh conditions of the wild. Many crocodiles also live on fish and other aquatic animals. They also feed upon water birds, lizards, snakes and other reptiles. Feathers, skin and bones have a lot of calcium in it. The crocodile needs calcium in high quantities. It helps in the development of their bones. While feeding your crocodile, you should also keep in mind about not to overfeed them.
Well, as you already know raising a crocodile is not easy. Along with this, every step during bringing up this pet may not prove interesting or entertaining. The crocodile may spend a lot of time just doing nothing. Crocodiles may spend an entire day just basking in the sun. So you need to have the required patience. Grooming and bringing up a crocodile is definitely not for common people. People having a special affinity for these creatures can only do so. Just the affinity is not sufficient; you need to be brave and daring. Raising a crocodile is not only dangerous but also very costly. May be this is the reason why we see cute puppies running in our backyard and not a dangerous predator slowly crawling towards its prey. But yes, if you do manage to grow one, you can proudly look up and say to the world that the most ferocious pet of all time belongs to me!