Sharing his home with 6 crocodiles and other exotic animals

Pictures from Bernama

Sharing his home with 6 crocodiles and other exotic animals

BY: Patrick Beech

Not everyone would dare keep a crocodile as a pet in their homes, but a family in Kajang, Selangor, have not one, but six smooth-fronted Caiman crocodiles (Paleosuchus trigonatus) since 2018. 

Khairul Johari Mohd Denie, 38, said he bought all six crocodiles, whose original habitat is in North America, from a licensed dealer through the Department of Wildlife Protection and National Parks (Perhilitan). 

The reptiles were a year old and just 20cm long. Now, they are seven years old and they have grown to around 160cm long and weigh around 15kg to 20kg. 

The crocodiles are housed in his backyard in a special pond that he built himself. 

Khairul Johari said he developed a deep interest in keeping the animals when he was a child as he was often taken by his parents to visit crocodile parks and zoos. 

The father of three said that he did not need to spend a lot of money on feeding the animals because he had alternative sources of food for his pets. 

Apart from live catfish, he feeds the crocodiles with chicken parts that are not eaten and sold at grocery stores near my house, such as the head, feet and liver. It is high in protein and calcium for the reptiles to grow. 

Khairul Johari, who is also an entrepreneur mentor, also shares his interest in Tiktok, which has many of his viewers feeling excited and their curiosity piqued by the nature of the reptiles that are rarely kept as a pet. 

In addition to the smooth-fronted Caiman crocodile, Khairul Johari also has a license to keep exotic animals, including 22 lesser whistling ducks, 22 hill mynas, two Victoria crowned pigeons, a pair of Siamese fireback birds and a giant grouper fish. 

"It doesn't bother the neighbours. On the contrary, they enjoy bringing their children to my house to see the animals and sometimes, they help feed and clean the pond or the aviary," he said. 

Khairul Johari intends to open a mini-zoo in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, in future to provide an opportunity for people to see various species of unique animals closely.