2.5m-long crocodile stuck at fish farm rescued and released at Sungei Buloh

VIDEO: ANIMAL CONCERNS RESEARCH & EDUCATION SOCIETY (ACRES)
Crocodile trapped at a fish farm in Lim Chu Kang on Nov 18, 2016.
Crocodile trapped at a fish farm in Lim Chu Kang on Nov 18, 2016.PHOTO: ACRES

SINGAPORE - A crocodile may look formidable but it does need rescuing now and then.

One estuarine crocodile, a native species, had wandered into a Lim Chu Kang fish farm last Friday morning (Nov 18).

The reptile, estimated to be 2.5m long, was released into the nearby Sungei Buloh nature reserve with the help of four rescuers.

It was found wedged between a fence, some wood and machinery in the farm. The animal did not suffer any obvious injuries, said Mr Kalai Balakrishnan, the group wildlife director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).


Trapped crocodile at fish farm. PHOTO: ACRES

"We had to plan how to safely restrain the animal, to ensure the crocodile's safety, and carry the animal to the suitable habitat," said Mr Kalai.

They first threw a towel over the crocodile's head to calm it down, then restrained its jaws so it would not struggle too much.

 

The rescuers then tucked the leathery animal under their armpits and carried it back to its natural habitat.

Mr Kalai advised anyone who spots a crocodile to "appreciate the animal from a distance". It's important not to provoke or approach it.

"If the animal is spotted in a nature reserve, take a detour or let the animal move off first," he said. "If the animal is spotted in a urban area, you can call Acres."

The Acres wildlife rescue hotline is 9783 7782.

Crocodiles have been spotted at Sungei Buloh and the northern coast of Singapore.

The species is endangered internationally due to the destruction of its habitats and over-hunting for its hide, said the National Parks Board on its website.