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Rescued crocodiles kept at Buddist temple popular with devotees

A friendly crocodile living inside a Buddhist temple charmed devotees and tourists in Thailand. The tame reptile named Chao Thong Kham had been living in the pond next to the religious site for more than ten years in Wat Udom Khongkha Khiri Khet temple in Khon Kaen province. During the day, it can be seen floating still in the water while allowing monks to rub it head like a pet dog after being fed. Footage shows a monk in orange robes extending a pole with fresh chicken hanging on its end to the water to call the animal for feeding time. Monk Phra Lun Kanta Thammo said: ‘We feed and take care of the crocodile everyday. Chao Thong Khamis a part of our family and he is friendly to visitors.’ Tourists would then watch the animal from the riverbanks but they were not allowed to interact with them directly for safety. The monk added: ‘Temple-goers tremendously declined during the pandemic but people are returning again to worship the Buddhist statues and visit the crocodile.’

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