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Crocodile quits cooperating for feedings

Maximo has been taken from his audience for refusing to cooperate during his daily feedings. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — What do you do when a 1,250-pound
crocodile turns into a diva? Take him away from his audience.

Officials at the St. Augustine Farm and Zoological Park said
Maximo has been refusing for about a month to cooperate for his
daily feedings of guinea pigs and quail.

Kevin Torregrosa, the senior reptile keeper, stopped Maximo's
public feedings recently to retrain him.

``He knows what he wants to do. He's testing us,'' Torregrosa
told The St. Augustine Record.

For his first snack, Maximo is supposed to get out of the water
and walk on a small beach in his exhibit.

For a second treat, Maximo is supposed to return to the water, jump up and reach for
the food, which is dangled above him on a pole.

The croc's routine is not about entertaining visitors, it's
about fitness. Crocodiles like Maximo, who are more than 15 feet
long, are prone to obesity and need exercise to keep trim,
officials said.