Before judging her decision, let’s talk about Vicki Lowing’s life in New South Wales. She grew up on a 2000-acre property and fell in love with wild animals. At only four years old, she was caring for blue tongue lizards. When she turned ten years old, she was taking care of snakes. Fast forward to 23 years old, she adopted a saltwater crocodile called Rocky.
When she met her husband, he knew what ‘he was getting into’. So, when he asked her to give up on her beloved Johnnie, the croc, she made her choice.
20. Letting One Go
You can imagine that the one leaving her would be the husband. And Vicki kept raising her beloved scaly pets, even allowing them in the house, bath, and bed! Yes, crocodiles nap with her!
19. Twenty Two Years of Friendship
Vicki is now 60 years old and she’s had Johnnie for 22 years when he was only a hatchling. She found him on her doorstep and she took him in. You won’t believe what happens early in the morning in her house…
18. She Got Used To It
Early in the morning, her pet crocs bang around the living room, making noise to get food. Vicki wakes up and feeds her babies, and she said that even though they’re very demanding, she cannot imagine her life without them!
17. Coming to Say Hi
Sometimes, Vicki said that Johnnie and another freshwater croc come into her bedroom, looking for her. And when they’re done wandering around the house, they hop into their aquarium in the lounge room. How many crocs does she have?
16. The Living Room, the Bathroom, Outside…
There are the two freshwater adult crocs in the living room, two baby crocs in the bathroom and a large saltwater croc outside, in the yard! And this is why her husband Greg was done with raising scaly pets…
15. They Can Look After Themselves
In 2005, Vicki and Greg divorced after being separated for a long time. She said that ‘husbands can look after themselves but my crocodile can’t make his meals’. And that’s not all!
14. Husband Versus Croc
Vicky said that ‘Men like to be the center of attention in a relationship, but Johnnie was like another child to me and all my children will always be equal to any partner I have.’ And when Johnnie arrived in the house, trouble began…
13. It Got Bad
‘We did nothing but fight. There was a lot of tension in the house. He said I spent too much time on Johnnie. It got really bad,’ said Vicki. But she does admit that her husband worked 12 hours a day, every day of the week…
12. Spending Too Much Time With the Croc
Then Vicki said that her husband ‘became jealous of the amount of time I spent with Johnnie. He said I devoted all my time to the crocodile instead of him.’ And then he made her choose between him and the croc…
11. Not Expecting It
Probably Greg thought that it was an ultimatum that would make Vicki give up Johnnie. Instead, he was going to have a tough time. Vicky said that he knew she had pets when they first met, so ‘he knew what he was getting into’.
10. He Did His Best
Vicki remembers that ‘Greg tried to get involved in my passion in the first few years of marriage. I was a volunteer with an animal charity and he would come out on rescues and try and help.’ However, he felt odd…
9. The Second Best
‘But he always felt like he was second best. He thought the animals meant more to me than him, but that wasn’t the case, they were just equal,’ said Vicki. And then he couldn’t stand his emotions, so he made Vicki choose.
8. It Happened
Vicki said that she ‘chose my crocodile over my husband. We sold our place and went our separate ways. It’s a real shame, but it happened.’ Now she looks after 33 animals: snakes, lizards, turtles, and birds.
7. A Full-Time Job
She spends all her time taking care of the animals that she’d saved over the years. All of her animals were homeless pets: ‘A lot of people have just gotten sick of them and don’t want to look after them anymore.’
6. Feeding Time
Vicki has been hand rearing wild animals all her life and she knows how to behave and how to interact with them. So, when it’s feeding time, she won’t look her crocs in the eye, because they might attack her to protect their food.
5. It’s Her Life
‘I’ve sacrificed my life for them. Animals have always been my life and without them I think I wouldn’t have a life,’ said Vicki. And when her animals misbehave, she scolds them a bit. This is how the huge croc reacted…
4. Don’t Eat That!
Jilfia, the huge saltwater croc ate one of Vicki’s live chicken and she scolded her for it. Then she said: ‘’I had to apologize to her because she was only doing what was natural.’ Jilfia didn’t move all day from her corner after Vicki yelled at her!
3. She’s A Darling
But Vicki said that her huge outdoors croc is ‘a darling, Jilly. I’ve got to be more wary of her of course because if she gave me love bites she would take my leg off.’ However, Vicki knows what she’s doing. She has a license to keep her pets.
2. The Expert in Native Animals
Vicki has been working with Australian native animals for more than thirty years and she is already an expert in raising and caring for them. She advises everyone against getting ‘a crocodile as though it’s a pit bull’.
1. Not Everyone’s Meant to Raise Crocs
Having a pet croc is definitely a huge responsibility, says Vicki: ‘The animal suffers, and of course they can be very dangerous. I don’t want to say only I can have them, but they’re definitely only for professionals.’