Sampit, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Increased sightings of crocodiles around Mentaya River in Mentawa Baru Ketapang sub-district, Kotawaringin Timur district, Central Kalimantan have created panic among locals.

Early this week, around 1 p.m. local time, a crocodile was spotted resting on a wooden bridge near a home in Pelangsian village, Mentawa Baru Ketapang sub-district. Several villagers rushed to the spot to take pictures.

Luckily, after resting on the bridge for some time, the crocodile swam back to the river, said Wahyudi, a villager.

A rise in crocodile sightings and a recent crocodile attack on a 74-year-old woman, identified as Bahriah, has left many villagers wary of venturing into the river, he added.

The attack on Bahriah occurred in a creek of Mentaya River around 11.30 p.m. local time on January 1, 2021.

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 lost her left arm and broke her leg in the attack.

She was admitted to the Dr. Murjani Public Hospital for emergency medical care, Zulkifli said and urged local authorities to prevent further 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 Julhaidir was taking a bath in the river, a tributary of the Mentaya River, in the Lempuyang village area.

To prevent repeated crocodile attacks, the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has appealed to local residents to stop throwing garbage and spoiled meat into the river.

"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, said recently.

Related news: 11 crocodile attacks recorded in East Kotawaringin in 2020
Related news: Stop throwing spoiled meat in river to curb crocodile attacks: BKSDA

Translator: Norjani, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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