KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers are trying their best to hunt for the crocodile that had devoured a toddler in Lahad Datu district recently.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said wildlife officials had already been instructed to capture or kill the reptile upon finding it.
"It is quite hard to capture the crocodile at sea. Yesterday (Dec 4). our men shot one dead but later discovered that it was not the one that attacked the child," he said when contacted.
He said they had ways to determine whether the crocodile they caught or killed was the one they were looking for.
As for the size of the reptile, Tuuga said they were not too sure how big it was, but was informed by the child’s father that it was huge.
He advised coastal villagers and anyone going down to sea or rivers to be aware of their surroundings to prevent accidents from happening.
On Dec 1, a man and his one-year-old son were on a wooden boat near the Lahad Datu Marine base when the reptile struck.
The reptile had snatched the little boy, while his father quickly jumped into the sea to try and rescue his son.
The father was attacked and sustained injuries following the incident, but failed to retrieve his son from the crocodile’s jaw.
He was later given treatment and stitches from his wounds following the attack.
Search and rescue operations for the victim were mounted, but was forced to stand down on the third day, as there were no leads as to where the boy’s body was.
"We will reopen our operations once there are new leads on the whereabouts of the victim’s body," said an official from the Lahad Datu fire station.