Sourced from The Star online 03/01/2010
KENINGAU: The expression “shedding crocodile tears” took a whole new meaning for a family in Kampung Simpangan when their pet refused to eat and wept on the day its owner died.
The two-tonne crocodile called Ah Kong is very much a part of the farming family and it became very attached to its owner Ho En Kui.
It was Ho’s son Su Hung who found the baby crocodile along Sungai Pegalan after a flood in 1961 when he was a 14-year-old boy.
Su Hung brought the 30cm-long crocodile home. Since then, Ho had been looking after it until his death in 2000.
“My father had a special kind of a bond with Ah Kong. It was as if when he talked to it, the crocodile understood him,” recalled Su Hung, 62.
Ho died at the age of 78.
“Ah Kong, who eats three times a day, refused to eat anything that day. He’s always docile with us but the day my father died, Ah Kong appeared to be uneasy and became quite aggressive.
“We also noticed drops of liquid coming out from Ah Kong’s eyes when my father died. And on that day, Ah Kong made some noises which sounded like the mooing of a cow,” said Su Hung, who then took over the job of caring for Ah Kong who is kept in a specially built 1m- deep pool measuring 10m x 7m at the family house.
The family believe Ah Kong was nearly one year old when he was found and they decided to “celebrate” his 50th birthday as the new year was ushered in.
On that auspicious day, the Ho family fed Ah Kong a chicken which it happily swallowed despite having lost many of its teeth due to old age.
Su Hung drained the water from the pool and the family, including his mother, Liew Kim Lin, 86, gathered around Ah Kong as they fed him the chicken.
“We hope Ah Kong will continue to be with us for a long time,” he said.
A crocodile’s life span is about 80 years.