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Crocodile farms of the past

May 11, 2014 - 2:10am

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While there is only one crocodile farm left in Singapore, there used to be many more and were quite the draw for tourists.

Rei Kurohi looks at three former attractions.

 

Tan Moh Hong Reptile Skin & Crocodile Farm 

In 1945, Mr Tan Gna Chua converted his residential home in  into a crocodile farm.  The farm offered free admission to the public and sold souvenirs and merchandise to visitors in addition to exporting skins and meat. It was so famous the former Supreme Allied Commander of the Second World War, Earl Louis Mountbatten visited the farm on Feb 20, 1972 with his daughter ans son-in--law, Lady Brabourne and Lord Brabourne. Located in Upper Serangoon Road it was also known as SIngapore Crocodile Farm. It closed shop in 2012.

Jurong Reptile and Crocodile Paradise
The 2 ha park was opened opposite the Jurong Bird Park in 1988 with a 30-year lease. It was reported to have cost $8m to establish, and began with 2,500 saltwater crocodiles. 
Not only would it breed the crocs, it also offered shows. But in it’s first year, an Indonesian trainer had part of his left cheek bitten off by a female crocodile dubbed Hulk Hogan during a performance.
The imported crocodiles refused to  mate and the park had to resort to artificial insemination.
Within three years, its owner attempted to sell it at $17m, but failed. Millions more dollars were pumped in for a facelift in 1997,  and the park introduced statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities, which attracted worshippers. 
Landlord JTC Corporation clamped down as the park was not authorised to conduct religious activitites.
 In 2002, it was put up for sale for $3.5m. There were no takers.
It finally closed the doors on its 20-year history in 2006.
 

The Singapore Crocodilarium
It was set up at East Coast Parkway in 1981 with much fanfare.
It had a pioneering population of 800 reptiles imported from Indonesia, Thailand and USA.
However, the crocodiliarium had trouble keeping  their Indonesian and Thai croc trainers and had to cease shows on multiple occasions due to lack of stuntmen.
Once billed as the next big thing in local tourist attractions, the crocodilarium closed its doors less than two decades later, some time before 2002.

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