An obese 100-year-old crocodile has died from overfeeding after worshippers repeatedly threw it sacrificial chickens for good luck.
Visitors to the Hazrat Khan Jahan Ali Shrine in Sadar Upazila of Bagerhat district in south-western Bangladesh believe that feeding the crocodile would guarantee them good fortune.
And in uncertain economic times, more and more shrine visitors have been throwing chickens and even goats to the bloated ancient croc.
Sadly, their desperation for good luck led to the reptile’s demise - as crocodile keepers found him dead in his enclosure due to an obesity-related condition.
Crocodile keeper Mohammed Sarwar there had been four crocodiles in the pond but the other three had also died from overeating problems, leaving a massive food supply for the final remaining crocodile.
When an offering was made, the crocodile was summoned by priests, who would bang a gong and announce that dinner was served, prompting the crocodile minutes later to surface and eat the preferred offering.
Mr Sarwar, 40, said: 'We were aware of the problem but were not sure what to do about it. The legend is that anybody who feeds the hunger of the crocodiles will have their hearts desire fulfilled.
‘Usually it was just a chicken but more recently people have been offering even more, including goats, believing that big sacrifices meant more chance of a wish being granted.'
Crocodiles have a lifespan similar to humans generally living between 70 and 100-years-old, with one of the oldest specimens dying in a Russian zoo aged 115.