“Stop throwing garbage into the river, particularly spoiled and raw meat of chicken and rats, because they may attract alligators hunting for food,” commander of the agency's Sampit Post, Muriansyah, was quoted as saying here on Wednesday.
Over the past two months, crocodiles have become more visible in Mentaya River and several creeks around the East Kotawaringin district areas. Locals have been terrified by crocodile sightings near their neighborhoods, he informed.
Alligators, for instance, have been spotted in the Mentawa River in Mentawa Baru Ketapang subdistrict. In mid-December, 2020, locals caught a 1.5-meter-long crocodile in the area, which was then handed over to the BKSDA.
On December 30, 2020, an 11-year-old boy was attacked by a crocodile when he went swimming in the Hambawang River near Ganepo village, Seranau subdistrict, Muriansyah informed.
Luckily, the boy survived after his uncle and several other residents pulled him out of the crocodile's mouth, he said. However, the boy suffered injuries on the legs owing to the reptile's bites, he added.
On January 1, 2021, a 74-year-old woman, identified as Bahriah, lost her left arm in a crocodile attack that occurred in a creek of Mentaya River in Sampit, the capital of Kotawaringin Timur district. The attack occurred around 11.30 p.m. local time.
Bahriah also broke her leg in the attack and was hospitalized at the Dr. Murjani Public Hospital.
According to Zulkifli, Bahriah's grandson, Bahriah was snatched by a crocodile when she went to a wooden toilet on the bank of the creek near the Pelangsian pier in Mentawa Baru Ketapang sub-district.
The crocodile latched on to her left arm shortly after she walked down the stairs towards the creek for washing hands. Bahriah yelled for help. Several people heard her screams and rushed to help.
A wooden stand prevented her from falling into the creek, and the people were able to save her from the crocodile that kept trying to drag her into the water, Zulkifli said.
Bahriah was admitted to the Dr. Murjani Public Hospital for emergency medical care, he said and urged local authorities to prevent any recurrence of deadly crocodile attacks in Sampit.
Crocodile attacks have repeatedly been reported from different parts of East Kotawaringin district, Central Kalimantan province.
In February 2019, a fisherman named Julhaidir, 41, was attacked by a large crocodile in the Seranggas River, East Kotawaringin district. He lost an arm in the attack.
According to a local resident, identified as Yansyah, the incident occurred late in the afternoon when the victim was taking a bath in the Seranggas River, a tributary of the Mentaya River, in the Lempuyang village area. (INE)
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