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Thread: The Croc Whisperer
05-25-2012, 01:17 AM #1
The Croc WhispererThe Croc Whisperer
Rather than trying to tame wild stallions, fearless Cairns fisherman Chito prefers a playful wrestle in the water with his best pal Pocho - a deadly 17ft crocodile
The 52-year-old daredevil draws gasps of amazement from onlookers by wading chest-deep into the water, then whistling for his 980lb buddy - and giving him an affectionate hug.
Chito made friends with the croc after finding him with a gunshot wound on the banks of the Barron River Cairns Australia 30 years ago.
He had been shot in the left eye by a cattle farmer and was close to death. But Chito enlisted the help of several pals to load the massive reptile into his boat.
He says: "When I found Pocho in the river he was dying, so I brought him into my house "He was very skinny, weighing only around 150 lb. I gave him chicken and fish and medicine for six months to help him recover.
"I stayed by Pocho's side while he was ill, sleeping next to him at night. I just wanted him to feel that somebody loved him, that not all humans are bad.
"It meant a lot of sacrifice. I had to be there every day. I love all animals - especially ones that have suffered."
It took years before Chito felt that Pocho had bonded with him enough to get closer to the animal.
He says: "After a decade I started to work with him. At first it was slow, slow. I played with him a bit, slowly doing more.
"Then I found out that when I called his name he would come over to me"
At one point during his recovery, Chito left the croc in a lake near his house.. But as he turned to walk away, to his amazement Pocho got out of the water and began to follow him home.
...being a human...