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The Guardian

Published: 04th April 2015 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2015 11:50 AM   |  A+A-

If Babia knew how to speak, she would have perhaps shared the secret elixir that she drank or maybe a closely guarded wonder herb that she ate to keep her strong and happy for a century-and-a-half. Her every waking hour is spent in guarding the Ananthapura Lake Temple in Kerala. Those close to Babia know that she eats her first morsel of the day—a  gruel made of rice and jaggery—only after the noon worship is conducted at the temple. She watches everyone with her old wise eyes, sometimes moist but always vigilant, and every time the bells in the temple chime, she lets out a silent prayer. If she had a voice, maybe she would have joined the morning prayers each day. But crocodiles do not speak. Babia is the only 150-year-old vegetarian crocodile alive today.



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