Residents of the Oje suburb of Ibadan city bring chickens to the reptile so that it can answer their prayers.
It has been owned by the Delesolu family as a pet for several generations, though they don’t believe it has any spiritual powers.
Raufu Yesufu, head of the Delesolu household, told BBC Yoruba: “Because of our faith, the Muslim faith, I don’t believe it has any powers.”
But he said traditional herbalists have long thought the crocodile does have special abilities – in particular in healing the sick or helping those who want to fall pregnant.
“We would then allow them access to pray and they would throw the fowl to the crocodile.
“That was how it began and people keep coming till today.
“They [also] come to ask for its faeces or the water in the crocodile pond.”
He says the faeces and water are then used in treatments in the belief that they will remedy various ailments.
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