A MALE 155-year-old crocodile weighing 600kg is among the main attractions at Taman Buaya Teluk Sengat, near Kota Tinggi.
The crocodile is among 1,000 in the park, which is also known as Crocodile World. It is said that the park is the biggest of its kind in Peninsular Malaysia.
There are many male crocodiles, each exceeding a tonne in weight, in the four-hectare park. Some of the crocodiles are kept apart due to their aggressive behaviour.
There are also baby crocodiles placed in another pool.
There is also an area designated for breeding purposes.
The park began operations in the 1930s with 20 crocodiles.
It was founded by Ng Yan Ngah.
Most of the crocodiles at that time were caught by members of the Seletar Orang Asli tribe, who were known to be experts in such pursuits.
All the crocodiles in Taman Buaya Teluk Sengat come from Sungai Johor.
Every year, some 100 crocodile eggs hatch in the park.
The park's caretaker, Ng Kok Ting, 54, said every three days, about three tonnes of chicken are required to feed all the crocodiles.
He said eight large pools are set apart as hatcheries.
"This park is doing its part to protect this species of reptiles.
"The park is designed to imitate the crocodile's natural habitat with its wide, deep ponds that have lots of shade.
"The sand bed ponds are suitable for laying eggs. Each female crocodile lays between 10 and 80 eggs, depending on their age," said Kok Ting.
The park has a licence from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) to rear crocodiles, to slaughter and sell its meat, as well as preserve crocodiles.
He said these activities are fully monitored by Perhilitan.
"There are no animal shows in this park, but visitors are allowed to hold, take pictures, and buy the chicken we feed the crocodiles.
"Every crocodile has a chip embedded in it to facilitate its tracking," said Kok Ting.
Meanwhile, crocodile handler Mohd Dol Endau, 61, said the crocodiles become aggressive at night. They are separated from one another at this time.
"They may seem calm sometimes, but their behaviour is unpredictable," said Dol.
The park is open between 9am and 7pm daily.
Visitors to the park are briefed on crocodile behaviour.
Taman Buaya Teluk Sengat is located about 2km from Muzium Kota Lama Johor, Kota Tinggi.