Saturday, March 7, 2009

Croc shot dead after attacking two boys

KUCHING: Police shot dead a six-foot long crocodile after it attacked two boys (cousins) at a village in Siburan early yesterday.

KILLED: Jamaluddin inspects the carcass of the crocodile following the shooting.

The incident occurred around 1am at Kampung Prutan when the cousins, identified only as 22-year-old Scott and 16-year-old Emanuel, were on their way home after visiting a friend at Kampung Busan earlier in the night.

According to Scott, he was riding his bike along a small road leading to Kampung Prutan together with his cousin, who was following behind on another bike, when he noticed what he thought looked like a crocodile lying in the middle of the road.

“I instinctively lifted my legs when it suddenly lunged at me. It missed and got hold of my bike’s brake pedal instead,” said Scott, who immediately accelerated his machine to a safe distance away from the croc.

Emanuel, however, was unable to avoid the reptile, ran over it and crashed onto the road.

The teen managed to pick himself up and ran as fast as he could towards his cousin while the croc snapped at his fallen bike.

The duo rushed home and related the incident to family members who immediately contacted the police.

A Mobile Patrol Vehicle (MPV) responded and found the croc in the compound of a house belonging to a local businessman.

Out of concern for the safety of the villagers, who had begun to gather at the scene as words of the attack spread, patrol officers were forced to kill the reptile by firing several shots at it.

The businessman, who declined to be identified, said he had spotted the crocodile on numerous occasions in an around the compound of his house over the past two years but did not know where it had come from.

Lately, he had seen the reptile more regularly near his fish ponds and had contacted the Wildlife Department as he feared for the safety of his wife and children whom he had previously warned not to go to the ponds.

He said officers from the department had tried, but failed, to locate the reptile two weeks ago but told him they would be returning to try again.

Meanwhile, other villagers claimed that apart from the dead reptile, they had also recently spotted a second larger reptile in the area not long ago and were worried for their safety.

Officer-in-charge of Siburan police station Chief Inspector Jamaluddin Abdul Latiff was present at the scene following the shooting.

He advised villagers to refer the matter to the relevant authorities for further action.

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