2.4m croc shot dead near Sandakan village
KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife authorities have shot dead a 2.43m (8ft) crocodile that had become a cause for concern among residents of a Sandakan village.
The residents, particularly fishermen, had informed the Wildlife Department of the reptile’s presence at Kampung Sungai Daling.
Sandakan Wildlife Department officer Hussein Muin said following the complaint, a trap was set under the jetty at Sungai Daling, where the animal had been frequently sighted, on Monday (Oct 17).
“The following day, the male crocodile was shot dead when it tried to eat the bait in the trap,” he said on Wednesday (Oct 19), adding that the carcass was then buried.
Last month, authorities also shot dead four crocodiles in an operation after a man was attacked and killed by a crocodile at the Seguntor rRiver, also in Sandakan.
This was among a spate of recent attacks in districts on Sabah’s east coast.
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Increasing crocodile attacks on villagers living along the rivers in Kinabatangan, Beluran, Lahad Datu and Tawau have raised questions of balancing public safety against conservation of the reptiles.
Offers to issue hunting permits for people interested in crocodile farming have yet to see any takers, forcing state Wildlife Department rangers to resort to shooting crocodiles in areas where they pose a danger to people.
State Wildlife director Augustine Tuuga had said they were only shooting crocodiles near villages where people use the river for their daily routine.
“It would not have a big impact on the overall population of crocodiles in Sabah,” he said in an interview last month.
Over the last two years, there have been an increased number of human-crocodile conflicts with some fatal cases.
As such, Tuuga said the department launched an awareness campaign with riverine communities on the “dos and don’ts”, including talks and pamphlets on precautions.
“It is not easy to assess how effective our campaign is. People have no choice but to use the river for daily life,” he said, while urging riverine communities to be extra cautious on or near rivers.
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