Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Don't kill that beach crocodile, Sabah wildlife dept told – Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: An animal rights lawyer has denounced the Sabah wildlife department’s plan to shoot and kill a crocodile that was spotted at the Tanjung Lipat beach here last week.
Rajesh Nagarajan said the department should protect wildlife from humans instead of taking up arms and killing them. “It is clear that this crocodile is merely looking for food in waters that have been overfished by humans,” he told FMT.
Last Friday, Sabah wildlife department director Augustine Tuuga said wildlife officers were actively searching for the crocodile but had yet to find it after it was spotted in the area.
He said the officers would shoot the crocodile if they found it, and advised the public to be careful when visiting the beach and avoid any activities in the area until the reptile was killed.
Rajesh urged the wildlife department to be more humane in dealing with the crocodile by capturing and relocating it to an area far from human settlements.
Conservationist Benoit Goossens said there was no easy solution to the problem, particularly when it comes to a crocodile at sea or coastal areas.
“If there was a possibility to catch the crocodile and relocate it, that would be best,” he said. “I believe that the wildlife department has looked at every possibility and taken into account the animal’s and people’s safety.”
Tuuga said the wildlife department had received almost 30 reports of crocodile sightings recently, with at least six of them in Kota Kinabalu.
He said the crocodile spotted at Tanjung Lipat beach continued to move from one location to another.
“It does not have a permanent nest. It is impossible to entrap because the usual bait used is ineffective. Because of the waves, trapping is nearly impossible at sea. And if it’s relocated, there is a chance it will attack the local crocodiles,” he said.
Tuuga said saltwater crocodiles were more aggressive than freshwater ones.
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