Beef next on the menu for croc with jaded appetite

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am

It's turned its nose up at fish - both dead and live - and chickens have failed to whet its appetite.

So now animal workers looking after the Yuen Long crocodile are hoping to tempt it with a few choice cuts of beef.

Yesterday was the fourth day the crocodile has spent in captivity at the Sheung Shui animal management centre since it was snared in the Shan Pui River.

It is gradually adapting to its new temporary home but is still showing no desire to eat anything offered so far.

Officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are remaining patient and hope the crocodile will eventually respond to their good intentions.

'So far, it hasn't touched any food,' one said. 'To whet its appetite, staff will try beef as fish and chicken [have failed].

In its latest update, the department said the crocodile was 'adapting more to the new place'.

'It has behaved normally, moving around under the sun quite often. It has spent most of the time outdoors.'

John Lever, a crocodile expert from Australian who tried to capture the crocodile last year, recommended chicken heads as a nutritious meal.

He has also advised that the animal be kept in a quiet and warm place and presented with food once a week.

He said young crocodiles can survive for a month without eating.

The crocodile is to face 18 months in solitude before it can be moved to a permanent home. It will be moved to the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Tai Po before being transferred to a wetland park in Tin Shui Wai next year.