The Editorial Team
Kota Kinabalu: Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) has finally captured the estuarine crocodile that has been seen sunbathing near Taman Ujana.
Sabah Wildlife Department director, Augustine Tuuga said that they have received complaints concerning the reptile since it was first sighted in late December, last year.
“We begun receiving reports of *an* Estuarine crocodile sunbathing on some plastic pylons just opposite Taman Ujana Tropika since late December 2020. I directed the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit to take immediate action and capture it,” said Tuuga.
He said that the the WRU spent over a month looking for the elusive crocodile before its successful capture at the same monsoon drain near Wisma Muis.
The crocodile measured two meters in length (6.6 feet).
Augustine also noted that Sabah has been seeing an increasing number of human-crocodile conflicts in the past few years.
He said that there has been several crocodile attacks on humans causing fatalities.
“This is due to the increase in crocodile population due to effective conservation programme for the past 30 years,” explained Augustine.
Sabah Wildlife Department’s WRU manager, Dr Sen Nathan said that many people have actually asked the WRU to leave the crocodile alone and to just put up signages to warn people about their presence.
“Unfortunately, this would not work in an urban area like Kota Kinabalu,” said Dr Sen.
He added that the monsoon drain is connected to the housing drainage system in Luyang and Foh Sang.
“Pets such as dogs and cats would be fair game for this crocodile. And once it grows larger, it would be a serious risk to small children and adults. Which is why this crocodile must be removed from the location,” said Dr Sen.
He further added that habitats with huge human populations and crocodiles will not mix well.