An Indian village’s 130-year-old crocodile has died, and he’s received a better funeral than most of us ever will.
We don’t normally think of crocodiles as kind, gentle souls, but that’s what the village of Bawamohatra thought of their beloved 130-year-old reptile named Gangaram.
“Even the kids of the village could swim around him and Gangaram had never harmed or attacked anyone,” said Basawan, a local villager speaking to the Hindustan Times. “Gangaram was not a crocodile but a friend and a divine creature for us who was worshipped in this village.”
Added Veer Sing Das, a resident of the nearby village of Dhara: “He would even eat rice and dal which was served by the villagers and kids. Gangaram was very understanding. If he saw anyone swimming near him, he used to go to the other side of the pond.”
Villagers found Gangaram floating in the community pond last Tuesday morning. A few swam out to check on his condition and found that the ancient crocodile had sadly passed.
Officials from India’s forestry department conducted a post-mortem and determined that Gangaram had died of natural causes. They estimated his age to be around 130 years old.
People were weeping upon finding Gangaram’s body, which was handed over to the village following his examination. The village decided to host a funeral for Gangaram with full honors, with every villager in attendance.
First, Gangaram’s body was decorated with flowers and garlands, then loaded into a tractor that was similarly adorned with colorful ornaments (at 10 feet long, Gangaram was quite heavy and impossible to carry otherwise). A procession carried Gangaram throughout the village before he was given last rites in a large hole dug near the pond he called home.
Over 500 people attended Gangaram’s funeral. Bawamohatra village now plans to erect a statue in honor of the late crocodile where he was buried so that future generations will remember the kind soul who guarded the children while they swam.