Vicki Lowing said there was no way she could give up 5ft long Johnie which
she says is "like a child" to her.
Mrs Lowing, 52, who has hand-raised the croc for 13 years, gives it the run
of the house and even lets it sleep with her son Andrew in his bed.
The trained nurse, from Melbourne, adopted the crocodile after it was left
on her doorstep in 1996, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Her husband Greg said she spent too much time with the pet and asked her to
give it up in a bid to save their marriage, but she refused and the couple
divorced in 2005.
Mrs Lowing, a trained nurse, said: "Husbands can look after themselves but
my crocodile can't make his meals.
"As soon as I started looking after Johnie, Greg and I started having
problems. We did nothing but fight. There was a lot of tension in the
Mrs Lowing raised Johnie in her home with Andrew, who is only 18 months
older than the crocodile, and said the experience was "like having two
children to look after".
It was only after the crocodile stopped growing that Mrs Lowing realised it
was female, because the reptiles have no external sex organs.
She said: "I had to tell Andrew his brother was actually his sister. We've
stuck with the name Johnie though, because its what we, and she, is used to.
And I was secretly thrilled - I've always wanted a daughter."