Indonesian Family Says Goodbye to Pet Crocodile After 21 Years of Companionship

For these people, crocodiles can be family too

Crocodiles are known to be one of the most lethal predators on the planet. Besides the fact that they’re so powerful and hidden in waters, they can actually prey on animals on land too. Have you ever thought of having “the” crocodile as a pet? Sounds ridiculous, right? No. Apparently, this Indonesian family thought of that. What’s more bizarre is that they’ve had the crocodile for at least twenty (20) years! However, earlier this year, the family shed tears when “Kojek” the crocodile was taken from them by the Taman Safari conservation park in Bogor, Indonesia. How he got Kojek was a truly heroic act of kindness and humane.

Irwan, the man who got Kojek, was not shy to share his story on how he found and adopted Kojek. According to the story he told Liputan 6, he was 21 years younger when he found Kojek. Back then, Kojek was still a baby crocodile and kids and people were playing and abusing him. He said that the baby crocodile almost d**d.

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He saw this and he immediately took action to talk to the people to take Kojek from them.

The kids didn’t want to give the crocodile for free, apparently, so Irwan decided to pay them. Irwan gave them a total of IDR20, 000.00 (Indonesian Rupiah). Back then, having IDR20, 000.00 is a big deal although in today’s exchange rate, IDR20, 000.00 is just exactly $1.30. That’s not the point, the point is Irwan was determined enough to get Kojek from them that he even paid a large sum of their money to get the baby crocodile.

Back then, the pet crocodile, according to Irwan only measured about 10cm long. Yes, you heard that right, when Kojek was just a baby, he was just 10cm long and can easily be lifeless if he’s not handled correctly.

When he took him home, he decided that he’ll name the crocodile “Kojek” when the pet crocodile was still with them. Over the years, they didn’t even notice the extreme growth of Kojek; it was as if he was really a part of the family.

According to Irwan’s neighbors and friends, Kojek was like a domestic animal – a cat, if you may – that he never hurt anyone who would come and visit their residence.

Kojek was known in the vicinity as the “fat crocodile” given its weight and measurements. He weighed 200kg and about 2.75m long. You may be wondering what Kojek eats in a normal day, right? Well, according to Irwan, he feeds Kojek 2kg of fish daily. Moreso, Irwan also jokingly said that although Kojek doesn’t harm visitors and friends who come over, he was able to terminate a few cats who crossed his path.

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Kojek gets bath time once a week and he doesn’t actually have that stinky smell. He’s a domestic animal, really just a part of the family. Irwan and his family were actually able to live with the fact that they have a pet crocodile in the house.

However, a few months back, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in West Java was notified about Kojek living normally with a family. By this, BKSDA officials came to Irwan’s residence and took Kojek for safety and for breeding reasons.

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According to them, Kojek, the pet crocodile that has been with Irwan for 21 years, is under Indonesia’s protected animals and can no longer be kept as a pet.

NET, a national TV network, shows that Kojek is unwilling to leave the residence as it has been his home for the 21 years of his existence. While this was being done, tears streamed down the faces of people who came to love Kojek being around. Irwan’s mother, shed tears as she said that Kojek was like her own grandson and that it was difficult for her to adjust.

Liputan 6 interviewed Irwan and Irwan said in a statement:

I’m sad. But I accept the outcome as long as Kojek is cared for there. Don’t mix him with other crocodiles, because he’s tamed.”

Taman Safari is caring for Kojek since February of this year. After they’ve diagnosed Kojek with obesity, they’ve put Kojek on a strict diet so that he can have a better life while he’s still alive. Taman Safari officials said that hopefully, Kojek is able to adjust to his new surroundings, given the fact that Irwan won’t be around.

Irwan is still regularly visiting Kojek in his own enclosure in the park. However, Taman Safari officials told Irwan and his family to not visit their previous pet crocodile’s den often because it can trigger emotional bonds, thus Kojek not adjusting to his new ambiance faster.

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Nevertheless, officials and veterinarians praised Irwan for his heroic act of not only saving the baby pet crocodile 21 years back but also by accepting the reality that Kojek should be returned to the place where he really belongs.

They ensured Kojek that he’s not going to be maltreated and he’ll be given care and importance wherever he is going.

Since it has been a few months now, hopefully, Kojek is somewhere where he’s happy and where he belongs. Clearly, Kojek seemed hesitant to leave Irwan and his family but he knew for sure that it was only for the better.

What do you think about this? Do you think that it’s just right Kojek left a resident’s home in place of a home in the park or the safari? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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