Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Zoo looks to sell giant crocodile to China

By Yang Chin-cheng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Madou Crocodiles King (麻豆鱷魚王) is looking to China as a potential buyer for its main attraction — a giant crocodile — as the Tainan zoo’s closing date approaches.

The zoo’s eponymous king croc is a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) that is 5.8m long and weighs 1,250kg.

It devours 20kg to 30kg of fish daily, and will continue to grow to between 7m and 8m, said Chiu Hsi-ho (邱錫河), owner of the zoo in Madou District (麻豆).

Chu, who has cared for the massive reptile for 30 years, said it is the biggest living crocodile in the nation and a pampered pet that he has come to regard as an “old friend.”

However, the 37-year-old zoo can no longer keep its business license due to recent changes to the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), and is due to close on Feb. 4, Chu said.

Chu is looking for buyers for the 166 types of animals in his zoo, some of which are rare specimens, including his “old friend.”

The most likely buyer for the croc is a zoo in the Chinese city of Xiamen, he said.

“They gave us pandas, so maybe I can send them this crocodile in return,” he said.

“It will be the biggest crocodile in China, too,” he said.

“Letting people know where it came from can be a good way of promoting Taiwan,” he added.

Prior to the zoo’s closing, this might be the last chance for people to see his giant croc, Chu said.

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