Killer crocodile captured in Batang Ulu Belawai

The Sarawak Forestry Department cutting the stomach of the crocodile.

TANJUNG MANIS: A 4.7-metre long saltwater crocodile, believed to have killed 14-year-old Ricky Ganya last Sunday (July 26), was captured on day six of a search and rescue (SAR) operation today (Friday, July 31).

State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) assistant director (operations) PgKB I Tiong Ling Hii said that the search operation commenced at 8.30am within a 3km radius from where the victim was attacked by a crocodile in Batang Ulu Belawai.

Ricky, from Rumah Dadat, was said to be collecting snails with his aunt and two other friends at the river when he was attacked by a crocodile.

At about 9.15am today, a crocodile was caught using a fishing rod with a chicken as a bait.

The bait was set up by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) swift wildlife action team (SWAT) and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) about 3km from the jetty and near where Ricky was reported missing.

“After the reptile was brought to shore near Rumah Dadat, its stomach was cut in front of police officers, the victim’s family and villagers. 

“The Sarawak Forestry Department found clothes and human body parts inside the stomach,” said Tiong in a statement.

Later, at about 1.28pm, Tiong said SFC reported finding more body parts and an arm stuck between mangrove trees. 

According to the latest Bomba report, Ricky’s family members have identified the body parts and clothes found inside the crocodile’s stomach as belonging to him.   

As at 4pm, the search operation was postponed and will resume tomorrow (Aug 1) as requested by Ricky’s family.

SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, who is also the Wildlife Controller, said that there had been an increase in the number of crocodiles in recent years compared to Sarawak’s first baseline data study conducted in 1985.

He said this showed success in crocodile conservation efforts had caused human-wildlife conflicts.

He reminded people who lived near rivers to be more extra careful and not take  matters into their own hands as the  reptiles were dangerous.

“Always be on the lookout when near the river banks, avoid swimming in the rivers and please do not throw rubbish or food leftovers in the river as these can attract crocodiles,” he said.