By the Philippine News Agency
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan (PNA) – Wildlife authorities in Palawan captured a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) measuring 15.6 feet in Balabac, days after a fisherman was attacked and killed by a crocodile.
Personnel from the Palawan Wildlife Reserve and Rescue Center (PWRC) extracted the saltwater crocodile in Barangay Malaking Ilog Saturday afternoon..
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) spokesperson Jovic Fabello said the crocodile weighs an estimated 500 kilos.
He said the crocodile will be brought to Puerto Princesa City on Monday where it will undergo a ‘gastrointestinal decontamination’ procedure to inspect the content of its stomach.
“Hindi pa namin alam ang gender kasi kakahuli lang kanina at inayos pa ang paglalagakan niya doon (We have yet to determine its gender. We are still arranging its cage / housing),” he said.
“Pagdating dito sa Lunes, aalamin agad ‘yan kasi may health check din na gagawin sa kanya (Once it arrives here on Monday, we will determine that and we will conduct a health check),” he added.
The stomach flushing will be done to determine if it is the “killer crocodile” that attacked and killed 23-year old Balabac fisherman Cornelio Bonete.
Bonete’s decomposing body was found on the shore of Sitio Bual, Barangay Malaking Ilog in Balabac last November 28.
The victim’s right arm and left foot were missing.
Fabello said the PWRRC team led by Salvador Guion tried to transport the large reptile from the area but failed due to strong winds and waves.
“It will remain under the custody of authorities there. They cannot transport the crocodile because of the strong current. It needs to be kept away from people. It cannot be exposed to people because they might harm it),” he said.
The entrapment operation by the PWRRC was started in Malaking Ilog on November 30 with the help of the CGSS in Balabac, the Philippine Navy through the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) the municipal government, and the municipal police station.
Ensign Allison Tindog, spokesperson of the Coast Guard District Palawan, said Saturday in a separate interview that the crocodile will be transported to Puerto Princesa by the Parola-class patrol vessel BRP Cabra.
“The Coast Guard through the leadership of Commodore Allen Toribio will help in transporting this large crocodile to Puerto Princesa on Monday. It will be here in six to eight hours,” he said.