Betong APM personnel managed to capture the false gharial at 11.10am after nearly 30 minutes of struggling.

BETONG: The Betong Civil Defence Force (APM) managed to catch a nine-foot long false gharial (buaya jejulong) at an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Assam near here, yesterday.

According to its officer Captain Usman Harto, the operation to catch the reptile was more of a rescue effort because they believed it was lost and was unable to find its back to the river.

He said capturing the false gharial, a rather rare species in the state, was difficult because of the thick bush.

The false gharial, a type of freshwater crocodile known for its distinctive long snout, is believed to have lost its way from Sungai Tisak, which is located some 500 metres from where it was found.

“The false gharial was successfully captured with the help of several civilians after nearly 30 minutes.

“It is now being held at our office (Betong APM) as we are still waiting for the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) to collect it,” he said.