Video: Woman Kept Crocodile as a Pet in Her Backyard for Over 20 Years

Video: Woman Kept Crocodile as a Pet in Her Backyard for Over 20 Years
Video: Woman Kept Crocodile as a Pet in Her Backyard for Over 20 Years

The story of a woman from Texas (USA) who received a crocodile from a zoo about 20 years ago and has raised it as a pet in her backyard ever since is astonishing internet users.

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The woman, who lives in Caldwell County in central Texas, told officials from the Texas Parks and Wildlife that she treated the crocodile as a pet, naming it Tewa. The authorities have not disclosed the woman’s name.

It’s unclear whether the large reptile came when called, but in an interview with NPR, Joann Garza-Mayberry of the Texas Game Wardens explained that the crocodile was compliant with her because she had raised it since it was a hatchling.

It was Garza-Mayberry who first spotted the unlikely pet last month. Videos of the scene show the crocodile living in an enclosed area with an artificial lake, the type of water feature often found in a landscaped garden.

“I observed the crocodile when I visited the house unannounced during an unrelated law enforcement investigation,” she told local news outlets.

Texas Game Wardens, the agency responsible for law enforcement for the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department, released videos showing the crocodile being loaded onto a truck. From there, it was taken to the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo near San Antonio.

The woman who raised the crocodile had reportedly been a volunteer at that same zoo. She apparently brought the crocodile home at least 20 years ago when it was an egg or a hatchling, as the zoo explained in a video on their Facebook page.

Texas law prohibits anyone from possessing live crocodiles without also having a crocodile breeder’s license, a hurdle that comes with a series of requirements.

After determining that the woman would not be able to obtain the necessary permits to have a crocodile on her property, the state agency sought the zoo’s assistance in transporting the reptile to its new home, where it now lives alongside other crocodiles.

The wildlife agency stated that the crocodile appeared to have been well cared for, according to the KHOU TV station. However, the woman received two fines for the illegal possession of the crocodile, each with a maximum fine of $500 (approximately 2,500 Brazilian Reais), according to Garza-Mayberry.

“Crocodiles naturally stay away from humans,” noted the wildlife agency in their guidelines about the animals. “Problems arise when crocodiles are fed by people. The crocodile loses its fear of humans and begins to associate people with food.”

Photo and video: Reprodução facebook Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo

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