Mon, Mar 20, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Monks adopt crocs 比丘收養鱷魚

A crocodile rests in the sun.
一隻鱷魚在太陽底下休息。 (照片:法新社)

PHOTO: AFP

Cambodian Buddhist monks discovered someone had left them some unusual new pets when two young crocodiles were discovered in a pond at their temple.

The monks were not the only people to be alarmed at the discovery. The area police chief said the unusual guests had caused panic among local parents when they were discovered. The parents immediately declared swimming off-limits to their children, fearing a mother crocodile may not be far away.

"But after investigating the case, we think they may have just fallen off a truckload of the animals being transported to Phnom Penh from a crocodile farm and been placed in the pond by kind children who wanted them to be safe," he said.

However a man at the temple told local media he had seen another, larger animal at least 30cm wide, and he was not convinced the two half-meter animals were the only reptiles to have found a new home. He said he did not see how long the animal he saw was because it was semi-submerged.

The reptiles were removed from the pond and adopted by one of the monks, who is now feeding them at a specially made pool at his home.

Cambodians often dump unwanted pets such as cats and dogs at Buddhist temples, but crocodiles are generally only kept by local farmers to be grown and sold for their skins. (DPA)

柬埔寨的佛寺裡,比丘發現有人留下了不尋常的新寵物 -- 池塘裡的兩隻幼鱷。

不只比丘對這項發現感到憂心忡忡,該區警長指出,這群不尋常的客人被發現時,已引起當地家長恐慌,擔心母鱷魚就在附近,家長們立即禁止小孩游泳。

警長說:「但是在經過調查之後,我們認為牠們可能只是從自鱷魚養殖場運往金邊的卡車上掉下來,好心的孩童基於安全考量才把牠們放進池子裡。」

但是佛寺內一名男子告訴當地媒體,他看過另一隻更大,寬至少的三十公分的鱷魚,所以他相信那兩隻五十公分長的動物不是池塘裡唯一的爬蟲類,但是他說他沒看見牠有多長,因為牠半沉在水面下。

這隻鱷魚已經被移出池外,由一名比丘收養,這名比丘現在將牠餵養在家裡特製的池塘裡。

柬埔寨人常會將諸如貓、狗等棄養的寵物丟在佛寺,但是鱷魚通常由當地農夫飼養以販賣鱷魚皮。 (德通社)

Reading Comprehension
閱讀測驗

1. What did the monks find in their pond?

a. A mother crocodile and her babies.

b. Two baby crocodiles.

c. A crocodile halfway underwater.

2. Who was alarmed by the crocodiles?

a. Guests at the temple.

b. The police.

c. Parents who live around the temple.

3. Where are the crocodiles now?

a. In a pond at the temple.

b. At a crocodile farm.

c. At the home of one of the monks.

4. Why do local farmers raise crocodiles?

a. So they can sell their skins.

b. To give them to monks as gifts.

c. To keep them as pets.


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