The Jakarta Post
The crocodile measuring 4.5 meters long that was captured earlier this week in Bangka regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, has died after just two days in captivity because the community reportedly refused to hand it over to the local conservation agency.
Septian Garo, the head of the Bangka Belitung Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said that he had tried to negotiate with local leaders over the wild animal's relocation to a safer place.
"But they [referred to] local beliefs that hampered the [animal's] relocation," he said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
Septian elaborated that, by local tradition, the entire neighborhood would be doomed if the crocodile was transferred elsewhere.
He added that similar incident had occurred in 2016, when residents refused to allow the agency to rescue a crocodile from their village.
"The [villagers] decided to kill the animal [instead] and bury it in some sort of a ritual," he recalled.
Septian also issued a strong call to the public that encouraged them to protect crocodiles and let them live in the rivers, their natural habitat. If a reptile posed a threat to the local community, they should contact the authorities to help relocate the animal from the area.
The giant reptile, whose age was estimated to be at least 50 years, was caught in the Kayubesi River on Monday evening after reportedly attacking several people. (vny)