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Crocodile caretaker in Melaka goes viral

Written by: Malay Mail | 01 Jul 2021 16:25
Image from Mohammad Rizal Manoor (Instagram)
Written by:
01 Jul 2021 16:25
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He is no cat whisperer, but his scolding seems to do the job just fine.

Meet Taman Buaya dan Rekreasi Melaka (TBRM) crocodiles and snake’s caretaker, Mohammad Rizal Manoor, the guy behind the TikTok video which shows him scolding a crocodile while cleaning up its enclosure.

The video, which has been viewed over four million times since being uploaded, has left social media users baffled with his calmness in scolding the crocodile even though the animal looks like it is going to attack.

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“That’s just his way of teasing or playing around because previously, I would always play around with him and that’s just how he would react.

“But during that day, I don’t have the time to play with him because I’ve a lot of work to do. That’s why I scold him,” Rizal told Malay Mail.

Rizal, who has been studying about wild animals such as crocodiles and snakes since he was a child, said that he is used to the male salt-water crocodile named Aris and its quirkiness.

He started putting videos on social media since late last year about his interactions with animals like crocodiles and snakes to share information on them and their behaviour.

“It all goes back to one’s intentions and passion and when dealing in a situation like that, I’ve known Aris and his limits and, in that video, he was just trying to act intimidating,” he said.

As it turns out, the 800-kilogram reptile is the fiercest crocodile in TBRM.

He has been at their enclosure since 1993 after he was caught by wildlife and national park’s rangers after a flash flood near the Melaka River.

“Whenever someone tries to open his cage, Aris quickly rushes to the door, he will be on standby there.

“If you come to his enclosure, you can see a broken steel ladder. That was Aris’s doing. He will bite almost anything in front of him, be it a rock, or even a water pump,” Rizal said.

He added that he previously uploaded a video of him scolding Aris for breaking the enclosure’s water pump.

Rizal has been Aris’ caretaker for over three years now after he was assigned to tame him by TBRM’s general manager.

Up till today, no other caretaker is allowed to go in Aris’ enclosure without Rizal.

Besides that, Rizal also said that he would usually play with Aris whenever he fed him.

At times he would ride on Aris’s back after feeding him and sometimes he would play peek-a-boo with the crocodile.

When talking about incidents with other crocodiles, Rizal admitted that there was a time where he had to take a month’s leave after getting whipped by the tail of one of the crocodiles there.

Aside from that, he said one of his unforgettable moments was being chased by a female crocodile who was guarding her eggs while Rizal was cleaning up the enclosure.

“One thing about female crocodiles, they can become violent when guarding their eggs and that time I was cleaning up the enclosure for a female crocodile named Manja, who apparently was not so ‘Manja’.

“While I was sweeping her enclosure, I noticed her intimidating stare and a moment after that, she was chasing me, and I had to climb up the fences.

“Alhamdulillah, I was lucky that Manja did not bite my backside off that day even though she jumped,” he said, adding that a crocodile can run up to 20 kilometres per hour and can jump up to five feet.

Previously, Rizal was also the go-to guy when it came to learning about approaching and handling snakes.

He has taught staff of Melaka’s Department of Civil Defence Malaysia and the local fire and rescue department.

“Even though I had my fair share of traumatic moments but my love for these animals outweighs it all. I will still do my best in taking care of them.

“Plus, I also want to prove that Malaysian animal keepers are on par with other countries as well.

“We don’t have to keep on referring to experts from other countries because we already have brilliant ones here,” Rizal said.

He added that he was willing to take care of any animal from any zoo or animal farm if given the chance. – Malay Mail

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