Nobumitsu Murabayashi, 65, bought “Caiman-san”, his pet crocodile, from a pet store, after his young son begged him to. He never thought he’d become part of the family, and still be with them nearly 40 years later.
Nobumitsu can regularly be seen strolling down the road with his unlikely pet – much to the bemusement of passers by.
And despite weighing an eye-watering 100lbs, the gentle giant lives inside Mr Murabayashi’s home in Kure City, Hiroshima, Japan.
The pair have been living together for 34 years, with veterinary experts estimating the caiman has a life expectancy of anywhere between another 20 and 30 years.
Mr Murabayashi originally purchased the caiman – who he named inventively ‘Caiman’ – as a baby from an exotic animal festival and was subsequently given permission from the city’s government to keep the unusual pet at home.
His bizarre friendship – which included petting, brushing its teeth and walking him on a lead – led to numerous local TV appearances that made him a minor celebrity.