4.5m-long croc caught in Dalat after 10 days of surveillance

The adult crocodile caught in Batang Oya in Dalat.

SIBU: A 4.5m-long crocodile was caught in a crocodile infected area in Batang Oya, Dalat on Monday (March 22).

Dalat district police chief, Dept Supt. Saga Chunggat in a statement said the reptile was caught 10 days after bait was set up by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) on March 13.

The operation was a joint effort between SFD which involved six officers and three from the police department using three boats.

"SFC was involved in setting up the bait, while we provided security for them every day during the operation which was targeted to end on Thursday (March 25)," he said.

DSP Saga said the operation was a challenging one, as they were exposed to the hot weather and rain almost every day.

"The team also had to conduct night patrolling, as crocodiles are easier to be sighted during these hours when they are most active," he said.

When a crocodile is sighted, he said they would set up a bait near it.

"Setting up the bait is the most dangerous task, as we have to be close to the reptile. This is also to assess the size of the crocodile," he added.

DSP Saga said in a night patrol along the salt water river, the team made 22 sightings of crocodiles.

"However, most of these sightings were 'hatchlings' though there were also several adult ones," he said.

According to SFC, adult crocodiles post a threat to the people if they remain in their habitat area.

"Residents of villages whose livelihood depends on the river such as fishermen, sago growers and river users in Batang Oya would be threatened by the crocodiles,"said DSP Saga.

He said fisherman Ali Baba B. Dahli was attacked by an even bigger crocodile several weeks ago. Ali Baba was the fourth victim to have died in the attack since the first case happened in 2015.

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