Cambodian company offers crocodiles by mail

May 21st, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by admin  

Phnom Penh, May 21 (DPA) As the price of crocodiles for commercial use plummets locally, a Cambodian company has sought out an alternative market niche - mail-order pet crocs. The hybrid saltwater Siamese crocodiles might not make loving pets, but they do possess lovable qualities, Crocodiles Cambodia insisted on its website.

For $2,355, the company mails 18 eggs and an incubator wrapped in brown paper and said more than 90 percent of its shipments make it through customs around the world.

For those who might need a helping hand with their new babies, Siem Reap-based Crocodiles Cambodia provides links to with tips for new owners.

“No doubt when you think of a crocodile as your pet, you might be wondering if it will work out,” said.

But have no fear - or only a few, at least.

“They can be harmful for the inexperienced lovers,” the website said. “There is no doubt that crocodiles are not for kids. They can be potentially harmful to other pets, and even people.”

Contacted by telephone, Crocodiles Cambodia staff declined comment on their mail-order reptiles, preferring to dwell on the virtues of the eggs as a delicious snack if they fail to hatch.

And that might be a valid point. Chris Hunter of Florida-based Nature Coast Exotics Inc said he was not sure whether eggs could be shipped at all.

“Crocodilian eggs … cannot be rotated more than 20 degrees in any direction,” he said by e-mail. Otherwise, the embryos drown, he said.

He had concerns about the breed, too, which is aggressive, he said, and warned that potential buyers might be biting off more than they can chew.

“The hybrid crocs grow twice as fast as pure-breds,” he warned.

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