man and his croc
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Yaron Kaminsky
Crocodiles start out as cute little baby reptiles a few inches long. But they don't stay that way (illustration). Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
Capture from Reuters
Tuzik and Sergei Falkov in their home. Photo by Capture from Reuters

Some people grouse about ill-tempered cats, or the inability to keep the poodle off the sofa. Sergei Falkov of Siberia has the same problem, but has kicked things up a notch. He can't get his 6-foot Nile crocodile off the couch and isn't about to force the issue with his irritable pet.

Four-year-old Tuzik joined Falkov as a sweetie tiny 8-inch-long baby with adorable pearly-whites that have meanwhile developed into inch-long fangs. Now the croc and the Siberian live together in a two-room apartment and guess who calls the shots.

According to Falkov, his 55-pound pet does not require any special treatment though frankly some behavior therapy might come in handy.

"Actually reptiles do not need any special care. They eat very rarely and require minimum care," Falkov explains. "Compared to cats and dogs, they don't need any special care at all. The only thing is that you need to have professional skills to handle them - not everybody would agree to do that."

Tuzik does have a cage but is free to leave it whenever he wants and wander around the apartment. Not being a complete idiot, evidently, he discovered the charms of the couch. Whether he is also cognizant of the charms of Falkov's pet cat remain to be seen, but the good news is that crocodiles can regenerate broken teeth.

Falkov is apparently seeking another living solution for Tuzik, but Siberia's zoos have reportedly been chilly to the idea.

Meanwhile, it bears asking whether the affection man feels for lizard is mutual. Could it even be?

Some argue that the reptilia don't even have the part of the brain that feels love. Others would differ. The Costa Rican fisherman Chito rescued a gravely injured crocodile, who had been shot in the eye. When healed, the croc refused to leave his man. The two are still together 20 years later.