Most people choose between cats or dogs when choosing a pet. But one Japanese man has gone a step further – he has adopted a giant 6ft 8inch caiman.
Nobumitsu Murabehashi, 65, can often be seen walking down the street with his unusual pet – much to the amusement of passers-by.
Despite weighing an eye-watering heavy 100 pounds, the gentle giant lives in Mr. Murabayashi’s house in Kure City, Japan.
The couple has been living together for 34 years after Mr. Murabayasi originally bought Caiman as a baby from an exotica festival. He was subsequently granted permission by the city’s authorities to keep the unusual pet.
The reptile lover added: “I never expected him to get so big.” It’s been 34 years since I’ve had him. “I try to communicate with him by doing things like brushing his teeth, etc.”
And Mr. Murabayashi admits his long-suffering wife isn’t necessarily a big fan: “Every day my wife is more fed up with me. “I spend my days with Caimans instead.”
He had a strange friendship – including petting, brushing its teeth, and walking it on a lead – that led to numerous local TV interviews that made him a minor star.
At home, the spectacled caiman spends most of its time in the tatami room – a traditional Japanese house using flooring made from dried rice straw – and the bathrooms.
Caiman has his own large tub filled with water at the front of the house.
But, Mr. Murakami admits that keeping up with his pet’s eating habits can be tricky. He has to replace his traditional sliding paper doors every year because they get damaged by his heavy lodger.
And with veterinarians estimating the caiman has an average lifespan of anywhere from another 20 to 30 years, he hopes he can live “another 30 more years” so he could continue to care for his cherished pet.