This monster croc is a family pet

Nathalie Bonney

In a small pool of water in an Indonesian backyard, lives Kojek the crocodile.

Garden water features are more likely to play host to goldfish, or maybe the odd turtle – but in this case, a family shares their back garden with a 200kg, 180cm-long crocodile.

“I’ve lived with a crocodile for a long time. About 20 years now," Irwan, from West Java, says.

“Automatically he became part of my family. My family didn’t feel disturbed by it, and felt that it was unique having him in the family.”

Kojek the croc has lived with a Javanese family for 20 years. Source: Barcroft TV

Kojek spends his days in a small channel of water at the back of Irwan’s garden. The family's washing hangs right next to it and Irwan’s three children are free to play ballgames on the turquoise-green ceramic tiles parallel to the croc.

Because he’s been with the same family for two decades, Kojek, according to Irwan, poses no threat to humans. In the whole time he’s lived with Irwan, there have been no accidents or injuries – to humans at least.

"When I first bought it from the fisherman's son, I got bitten on the hand," Irwan admits. "Since then, never again.

“He once grabbed a cat. The cat was curious and flitted in front of Kojek. The reflex was very quick and one stroke and it died.”

The baby toddles around just metres from Kojek's jaws. Source: Barcroft TV

Irwan snapped up Kojek from a local fisherman when the reptile was just 30cm long, rescuing him from an early death. The fisherman believed Kojek was a lizard and therefore an unwanted pest.

“I bought the crocodile from the fisherman's son," Irwin says. "At the time, there were about three or four fishermen's children playing with the crocodiles but they said it was a lizard. But I know a little about reptiles, and knew they were crocodiles.

“They said they were going to kill it so I asked them not to. I pitied the animal, so I said I’d take the animal and give them money for it.”

Local kids are completely unafraid of the deadly beast. Source: Barcroft TV

Kojek is fed fresh fish and bathed on a weekly basis. Using a plastic kitchen brush, soap and hose, Irwan lovingly scrubs down Kojek from top to tail to stop moss growing on the croc.

"He doesn’t need any special treatment," Irwan explains. "If the pool water is dirty, I drain it, usually, once a week because it urinates and defecates in the pool. So, the water must be clean.

“For the skin treatment, usually I bathe the crocodile once a week at the same time I clean the pool. I brush its body, I brush its teeth, I brush everything.”

Irwan brushes Kojek's teeth once a week to keep them pearly white. Source: Barcroft TV

After living with the same family for so long Kojek has caught the attention of locals and is used to having his picture taken.

“Because I have been interacting with him for more than 20 years maybe the crocodile has considered me like a friend or adoptive parent or whatever,” Irwan says.

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