KLANG: The stray crocodile spotted in Klang near the Kota Bridge early last month has not made an appearance since.
But the community there is not taking things too lightly.
A sign warning people to watch out for crocodiles was put up near the river stretch at Taman Pengkalan Batu park which is near to where it was spotted.
The words, “Awas. Anda berada di habitat buaya (Beware. You are in crocodile habitat)’’ together with the hotline number of the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) was right below the picture.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) corporate communications director Norfiza Mahfiz said that two other signages would be fixed at the riverside in Taman Pengkalan Kampar and near the water gate of Taman Sungai Jati.
She said the sign was put up despite there being no other sightings after the crocodile was first spotted.
Klang resident Jordan Ng said the sign would serve as a reminder to visitors, especially anglers, to take extra care while fishing.
“It is rare to see a crocodile in the Klang River.
“The recent sighting of crocodile only means that the river condition is getting better, as more animals could live there,’’ said Ng, who is also the president of Kelab Warisan Sungai Klang, an NGO that wants to beautify and promote Kota Bridge and the Klang River as tourist attractions.
On where it could have come from, crocodile farm owner Cecilia Ng, 52, said there was a remote possibility that the animal could have escaped from an illegal farm.
She added that farms which are licensed by Perhilitan must have deep ponds and a water flow system which prevents the crocodiles from jumping out of their ponds or being washed away during heavy downpours.
“Illegal farms don’t have these as well as workers on the alert at all times and so the crocodile could have escaped a shallow pond during flooding caused by a heavy rain,” said Ng whose farm is in Johor.
Zoo Negara assistant curator Herman Bernard said there is a high probability the crocodile could have been frightened off by crowds of people who had come to the riverbank to see it.
“It could have also moved either downstream or upstream and was no longer at the specific location,” said Herman, adding that the crocodile could be anywhere now given the Klang river’s length.
He said the crocodile could have also left to look for its group as crocodiles are never lone animals.
“We don’t know its gender but if the crocodile is male, it will definitely be in search of a mate,” he added.
Fisherman Yusof Mohd Ali, 53, said unless the crocodile is a female and had laid eggs at the spot, it would have moved on.
“If it is a female that had laid eggs, the crocodile would have built a nest at the location and would have been spotted again,” added Yusof, who is stationed at the Rantau Panjang fishermen’s jetty near here.
Yusof said he and the other fishermen sight crocodiles near their jetty once a year.
“Whenever we see the lone crocodile, something bad happens such as massive flooding.
“There was also an instance where we found the remains of a human floating near the jetty after a crocodile sighting,” he added.