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“Croc-o-duo’ free to roam family home

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PHITSANULOKE: Municipality Council member Awiroot Natip has shared his family home with a variety of pets over the past decade, two of which are two-meter-long freshwater crocodiles.

“I’ve been raising them for almost 10 years,” Mr Awiroot, 45, told Kom Chad Luek.

Mr Ariwoot purchased the pair, named Ngern (Silver) and Thong (Gold), from Nakhon Sawan MP Pinyo Nirote for 3,000 baht each when they were about two years old, he said.

“We raise them just like other pets. If they’re hungry and hear us making noise in the kitchen, they come to us and we just give them some food. Then they go back into the house.

“We feed them some chicken every few days, except during the Vegetarian Festival, when we just feed them vegetables,” he told a Channel 3 reporter.

“My son has chickens, rabbits, hedgehogs and a Pomeranian – they all play together, even the crocs.”

Mr Awiroot said that he leaves the gate to his home open “all the time”, and used to let the pair swim in the nearby Naan River.

“The neighbors know that I give the crocs full reign in the house. However, if we have visitors, they will be supervised,” he said.

One of the beasts has taken to climbing to the second story of the house and sleeping in his 12-year-old son’s bed.

“Even though I’ve been living with them for ten years, I would never sleep with them. When I go up to my room and they are in there, I just tell them to leave,” the youngster said.

“They are usually nice to the family, but if a stranger comes close to me, they will threaten – but they’ve never hurt anyone,” his father said.

Of the two reptiles, Ngern is the “wildest”, he noted.

“I just keep him in the house. Thong is wild as well, but he’s never hurt anyone.

“I used to pet them on the head, but not anymore because Thong bit me once. It wasn’t a serious injury, though,” he added.

Mr Awiroot’s youngest son, Athipong Natip,10, said, “I’m not scared of them. They’re so cute and I’ve been around them since I was very little.”

“I can pet their tails, but I don’t dare get too close,” he added.

“I guess, deep down, I am scared of getting hurt. I’d rather just raise rabbits and hedgehogs,” Athipong said.

 

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