Australian `Crocodile Hunter' fan says he'll feed his son's placenta to goannas

An man who says "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin shaped his love for reptiles said Tuesday he plans to feed the placenta from the birth of his newborn son to his pet monitor lizards, to bring his family closer to the animals known in Australia as goannas.

Wil Kemp, a reptile keeper at the Rockhampton Zoo in northeastern Queensland state, said his second son was born on Sept. 5, the day after a stingray killed Irwin as the famed TV conservationist filmed on the Great Barrier Reef.

Kemp and his fiance Kahila Pepper named the boy Tai Irwin the former after the taipan snake and the latter after the television star.

Kemp said the couple planned to feed the placenta to their three pet goannas, which live in pits in the family's backyard, after a homecoming gathering on Sunday.

"I think we'll just break some beers, chuck it in and do it," said Kemp, 21.

The couple came up with the idea after nurses told them they could take the placenta the organ that grows in the womb to be the interface for nutrients and blood between mother and fetus that comes out during childbirth home if they wished.

Personal disposal of the placenta has become a trend, with some couples choosing to give it a symbolic burial and others, in rare cases, eating it in the belief it has health benefits or will strengthen family bonds, reports AP.

"Me and Kahila got talking and thought `well if they can eat it and plant it underneath trees, why can't we feed it to a reptile, and literally bring us closer to them?"' Kemp said. "I want him (Tai) to get into reptiles."

Goannas are carnivorous lizards that can grow to around two meters (6.5 feet) in length.

Kemp said he would be showing Irwin's television programs to Tai and his other son, 18-month-old Ramsay, and would be thrilled if they followed in Irwin's footsteps.