REARING AND KILLING CROCODILES
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Australia is known all over the world for nurturing crocodile farms. The owners and keepers do not do so just for love of the ferocious large reptile seen both on land and in water – more in deep waters. It is strong in water but weakens on land like a typhoon. Of course, the two have nothing in common but for their strength on waters and weakness on land.
Crocodiles are known for their skin or hyde, if you choose to call it that way. A Ladies’ purse of medium size made of crocodile leather may cost anything between 2,000 and 4,000 US dollars depending on the quality and its finish. Ladies love it and crocodile farm owners earn enough money to maintain their farms in remote areas of Australia. It takes determination to run the show in God-forsaken areas far away from decent human habitation.
Ask a crocodile farm owner or even a keeper whether he loves the job of rearing and then killing crocodiles for money? Well the answer may be both yes and no. If they do not do it where will the money come from not only for the upkeep of the farm but also for raising their own families and bringing up children, educating them and giving them enough pocket money to keep up with the Joneses next door.
In any case crocodile farms are just a kind of business like raising animals on a ranch or just engaging in agriculture. One has to do some work to earn enough money to make both ends meet. Men folk do this serious kind of work whereas their women run the household and raise children. Life can become unbearable in remote parts of Australia where one feels cut off from the rest of the world. Of course, the situation is ameliorated in the present century as Electronics has made tremendous headway. The electronic media keeps the crocodile farmers in touch with others doing this business and they compare notes to make advancement in using new techniques. Improved methods of multiplying and rearing crocodiles brings in more and more mulah to make life more comfortable.
Is the business of running a crocodile farm in remote areas of Australia a risky business? Well it is as safe as playing a game of hockey, opine the old hands playing this game for a long time. What about medical aid in cases of emergency? Well, most of the farmers and cattle ranchers are para-medic themselves and big hospitals located at a distance have doctors on duty to render assistance as and when needed.
If someone were to ask me if I am inclined to join the club of crocodile farmers, I would not think twice before saying NO. I am not cut out for that. I love to sit at my computer and churn out stories on strange phenomena in the human world, not ignoring the animal kingdom. Life is indeed like that and there is never a dull moment.
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