Hunting a man-eating croc

Killer caught: Sabah Wildife rangers posing with the crocodile after it was shot in Tawau.

KOTA KINABALU: A process of “deduction and elimination” helped wildlife rangers pick out and kill a man-eating crocodile in Tawau.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the rangers were surveying the crocodile-infested area around Kg Sungai Mas Mas for a while and zoomed in on the largest reptile in the area.

The rangers shot the crocodile after a four-day search and rescue operations for a missing 60-year-old man, Addi Bangsa.

“The one they shot was the biggest in the search area,” Augustine said yesterday.

The others were juveniles so they were spared because they were unlikely to cause fatal attacks on humans, he said when contacted.

He said the rangers recorded some 12 juveniles in the area while the only crocodile that would likely have attacked the missing man was the largest.

The man’s crushed body, including legs, were recovered from the stomach of the 800kg reptile.

He said the 4.29m male crocodile was spotted about 1.5km away from the house where the victim was attacked at about 4am on July 19.

Upon cutting up the stomach of the crocodile, the rangers found human remains.

A Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department spokesman said family members confirmed the body was that of Addi.

The remains were sent to hospital for a post-mortem and further police investigation into the incident.

Search teams comprising firemen and police together with villagers had carried out surface search since July 19 and covered a 3km radius around the river mouth about 70km from Tawau.

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