Men jailed for beating holy crocodile

It’s generally not smart to bother a crocodile. Heck, an Israeli tourist nearly got eaten just for trying to take a photo of one! Thus two men in Bangladesh should count themselves lucky that after beating a crocodile, they landed up in a jail cell rather than the reptile’s stomach.

The men worked at the tomb of Khan Jahan Ali, a fifteenth-century Muslim saint whose resting place in Bagarhat is a pilgrimage site. In front of his tomb is a pool of water in which live about two dozen marsh crocodiles. Pilgrims offer chickens and goats to the crocs in the hopes of having their prayers answered, and donate money to their “caretakers”. This group have been reported for cruelty before, often beating the crocs if they don’t respond to their calls. When a pregnant female named Pipil didn’t do what they wanted, they beat it so badly with bamboo sticks that the animal lost an eye.

It’s illegal to mistreat crocodiles in Bangladesh, and now the pair face two years in jail with hard labor.