He’s Just a Big Gentle Guy
A fully grown adult crocodile is one of the most fearsome sights we humans can experience — if we’re close up and within range of a gazillion razor-sharp teeth lining a gaping mouth.
I’d say it’s just about as scary as a great White shark.
But Tom Tung, the Buddhist Crocodile, as he is known in his Thai homeland, really does seem a very gentle fellow — and I have seen him from 10 feet away, smiling teeth and all.
Tom can be found — if he can be found — in one of three ponds inside the periphery of a Buddhist temple in Northern Thailand. Without a thorough search, no-one is ever quite sure which pond he is occupying at any given time.
Ajan Nung, the temple Abbot, regularly feeds Tom so that he remains a gentle giant. We were with Ajan one day when he fed the crocodile a piece of raw chicken, dangling from a stick, like meat. I guess it was bait, though, because Tom gobbled up the entire offering.
Satisfied, he sailed away from us had across the pond and we waved him a cheerful goodbye.