NIC DYER says 14-month-old Warren can be a bit snappy but he hasn’t deterred his plan to bring more long-toothed friends to Bendigo.
Warren the crocodile lives in a fish tank in Mr Dyer’s White Hills home.
He took up residence four months ago and has inspired Mr Dyer's long-term goal of opening a Wildlife Park in Bendigo.
Mr Dyer said he has always been interested in reptiles.
“I just thought it would be good to have a crocodile,” he said.
“I’ve had lizards, tiger snakes, carpet pythons. Everyone’s got hobbies; I guess mine’s a bit weird.”
After a bit of research he found a crocodile park in the Northern Territory and arranged all import permits and licensing requirements.
The reptile then arrived in a postage tube delivered to Tullamarine Airport.
Mr Dyer said he thinks it’s the only freshwater crocodile living in the Bendigo region.
“The Department (of Environment and Primary Industries) came to check out the tank and were saying it was the only one in a 100km radius.”
“It’s cool to have. At times he’s boring because he doesn’t do much. It’s something different.”
Feasting on a diet of fish and meat, Warren is likely to outgrow his tank before the end of the year.
“Once he gets to a metre long he’ll outgrow it,” Mr Dyer said.
“I have the option of sending him back to the crocodile park or I can build a pit and a garden shed outside for him. I’d like to keep him and see him grow over the next five to 10 years. But I wouldn’t hold on to him if his health was at risk or I couldn’t have the right set-up.”
Mr Dyer said he was considering getting more crocodiles and displaying them to the public.
“I’d love to get a big set-up going at some stage in the future.”
“Bendigo hasn’t got anything like it. There’s not a great deal for kids to do. I think we need a few things like a wildlife park, we really need something.”
The children in the neighbourhood have shown their approval of Warren.
“Nearly all the neighbours have come in and looked at him,” he said.
“Kids are constantly knocking on the door asking if they can see the croc. There’s children walking in and out all the time, it’s unbelievable.”
Mr Dyer said there was high maintenance and high power bills involved in caring for the crocodile.
“I'm an animal lover...You’ve got to love what you do. It’s about caring for them and looking after them and giving them everything they need.”
“They’re not for people to have as pets just because they think it’s a cool idea.”
Mr Dyer said Warren has not snapped at him yet but he wasn't taking any chances.
"You've got to be careful," he said.
"But I think it's inevitable he'll get me."