Saturday, 30 March 2024 04:44

Residents mourn as family prepares for burial of 84-year old crocodile in Ibadan

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Residents of Oje area of Ibadan in Ibadan North East local Government of Oyo state yesterday rushed out to catch a glimpse of a crocodile which died after 84 years.

The crocodile, before its death on Thursday, was tamed at the popular Delesolu’s Palace, Ibadan.

During its lifetime, it attracted many tourists to the ancient city of Ibadan as a result of its uniqueness.

When speaking about the mysterious crocodile, head of the family and a very respected Chief in Ibadan land, Raufu Yusuff Delesolu, said it was brought to the “Igbejo Delesolu in 1940 after the first one was bought by some white men. Since then, it has been in Delesolu’s compound until its demise today.”

Raufu further explained that, the white people from all walks of life including Africans loved seeing and feeding it with all sorts of food.

He said, “I grew up to know the pet as it had been in existence before I was born, It was about 84 years”.

“Historically, the crocodile had never been reported to be a god as our fathers did not at any moment worship it.”

“They only visit it every day to feed it and to be sure of its well-being.”

Still quoting his father, the head of the family stated that, “In the olden days before its house was adequately constructed, the crocodile used to crawl out whenever there was heavy rain and men in the compound would now start searching for it. There was a day when it was found in the muddy gutter very close to the palace, at Ojo-Ibadan compound to be precise. It was later brought back to its house.”

He however reiterated that, the crocodile was not a god as being speculated by many people. It is just a pet cherished by their forefathers and the onus is on them to preserve this important heritage.

As at the time of gathering this report, the members of the family were grieving and there is ongoing burial arrangement for the dead reptile as it would be buried in the family compound.

“But trust me, there are still other tourist attractions in the family compound and Oje community at large; and there is also high tendency of getting another pet in order to continue preserving the heritage of their forefathers”, he said.

Several objects were seen on the ground in preparation for the burial of the crocodile.

 

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