Hunt for killer crocs begins

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  • Friday, 10 Mar 2017

Kri (right) explaining the hook-and-line method to catch the crocodiles. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has embarked on a week-long operation to catch crocodiles in Santubong River following several suspected attacks in the last few months.

The operation saw SFC’s Swift Wildlife Action Team (SWAT) setting up 16 baited hooks that were placed at several locations in a 2.5km radius along the river.

“We have spotted two crocodiles, between 2.5m and 3m long during our observation these past two days.

“We are using the ‘hook-and-line’ method to catch the crocodiles,” SFC personnel Christopher Kri Ubang told reporters in Kampung Santubong, some 40km from here.

He added that the baits would be replaced daily until the operation ended on Saturday. He was confident that the crocodiles would be caught soon, considering that two of the baits were eaten.

Last month, the partial remains of Selamat Raub, 55, were recovered in the Santubong River during a search-and-rescue operation that followed a suspected crocodile attack.

The search and rescue team, comprising members from the Fire and Rescue Department, police, Rela and local villagers, located the victim’s remains from the waist down, some 3km from where his belongings were located.

The search for his upper body in the croc-infested waters was discontinued for safety reasons.

In January, 16-year-old Raziman Razali disappeared in the waters along the beach in Kampung Santubong and was found at sea, some 5km away from where he was last seen.

The condition of the body indicated that it was likely that Raziman had fallen victim to a crocodile attack. The teenager was the second to go missing in the area in the space of 30 days after a female nurse went missing in December.

“After this operation in Santubong, the SFC’s SWAT team will head to Pusa, Betong, to carry out similar operation following a suspected crocodile attack there on Wednesday,” added Kri.

On Wednesday morning, rescuers found the body of Besimilah Rajali, 46, believed to have been mauled to death by a crocodile.

The victim was said to have gone out fishing in Sungai Udey near Kampung Tambak, Pusa, around 4pm on Wednesday. His remains were found at 10.15am the following day, some 150m from where he was last spotted.

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