Abandoned crocodile unlikely to join celebrity cousin

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 December, 2012, 8:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 December, 2012, 8:16pm

A baby saltwater crocodile found abandoned in a Tai Po village is unlikely to join the city’s celebrity crocodile in the Wetland Park although they are of the same breed, agricultural officials say.

The young reptile was too small to be a suitable companion for 12-year-old star crocodile Pui Pui, which was at least double its size, a spokeswoman for Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department said yesterday.

She said they were mulling over where to settle the reptile, now staying at the New Territories North Animal Management Centre in Sheung Shui.

“It is not appropriate to put them together even though they are of the same type of crocodile,” she said. “Pui Pui is too big in size and the age difference is too great. The baby crocodile may be attacked or bullied by Pui Pui.”

Ocean Park’s senior curator of aquariums, David Lai Yiu-nam, had earlier said it could be a companion for Pui Pui, depending on their characters.

A villager found the reptile, believed to be an unwanted pet, in a large glass jar at a rubbish collection site in Tong Sheung Tsuen at 3am on Sunday. Department officers took it away.

The animal is about 1.2 metres long and weighs about 5kg, whereas Pui Pui spans more than 2.4 metres.

The department said the baby was healthy but was too young for its gender to be determined.

It was the second crocodile to be found discarded after Pui Pui, also believed to have been an unwanted pet.

Pui Pui, whose name means the precious one in Chinese, was first spotted in Shan Pui River, Yuen Long, in November 2003. The crafty croc eluded capture for six months, outfoxing experts from Australia and mainland China before the department netted her.

Since 2006, she has made a 72 square metre enclosure in the Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai his home, and is a visitors’ attraction.