Croc seen at Tanjung Bidara most likely from Negri sanctuary, says Melaka Perhilitan

ALOR GAJAH: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has identified several reasons behind the appearance of a two-metre long saltwater crocodile at the Tanjung Bidara recreational seafront.

Melaka Perhilitan director Mohd Firrdhaus Mahmood said rivalry, searching for food and a new habitat, crossing to another estuary and looking for fresh ground to lay eggs were probable factors as to why the crocodile emerged along the Melaka shoreline.

“There are an estimated 200 crocodiles of various sizes found in the crocodile sanctuary along Sungai Linggi located in Negri Sembilan.

“We believe the reptile that was spotted here is from Sungai Linggi,” he said after leading an operation to capture the crocodile at Tanjung Bidara here on Tuesday (Feb 21).

The operation involved nearly 100 personnel from the Armed Forces, police, Fire and Rescue Department and Perhilitan.

The Negri Sembilan government had gazetted a 1.37ha site as a saltwater crocodile sanctuary on May 4, 2021, while low-impact development to the sanctuary areas was implemented to protect the species which used Sg Linggi as its natural habitat.

A total of 164 sightings of these crocodiles were recorded in a study conducted in 2020 with the largest species measuring 5m long and the smallest 1m long.

The saltwater crocodile is a threatened wildlife species and is fully protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).

Mohd Firrdhaus said so far there were no reports of the crocodiles attacking humans.

“However, we hope no one will disturb any of these crocodiles if they come across them but to report it to the authorities immediately for further action,” he said, adding that the crocodile that was spotted here is estimated to weigh 200kg.

On Monday (Feb 20) two crocodile traps were deployed in waters off Tanjung Bidara dan Kuala Linggi here in an effort to capture the crocodile that has been spotted in the area several times.

The operation would be carried out over two months with the traps checked every three weeks.

The effort to capture the crocodile was launched after public concerns and complaints from owners of holiday spots at Tanjung Bidara here who had suffered losses after cancellations due to the reptile's presence.

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