Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Riau Conservation and Natural Resources Center (BBKSDA) has attributed the recent deaths of two men in crocodile attacks in the Meranti Islands district to habitat disturbance.

"Based on the team's observations in the field, there is sago processing, whose waste is dumped into the river, which disturbs the crocodile habitat," head of the Riau BBKSDA, Genman S. Hasibuan, said here on Tuesday.

Thus, the crocodiles attacked the two men due to natural instinct and the pressure of their habitat being disturbed.

BBKSDA said it suspects that several points in the crocodile habitat in Meranti Islands have been disturbed by many factors, including waste discharge.

Saltwater crocodiles are protected wildlife, as stipulated by Law No. 5 of 1990 concerning the conservation of living resources and their ecosystems, Hasibuan emphasized.

Anyone who enters the territory of Indonesia is required to support wildlife conservation by not disrupting their habitats.

Related news: 11 crocodile attacks recorded in East Kotawaringin in 2020

"The Riau BBKSDA appeals to all parties, especially the community, not to be violent toward protected wildlife on Meranti Islands. We also urge that the business sector stop throwing waste into the river and do sewage treatment without having to dispose waste into the river," Hasibuan said.

On Monday (December 26, 2022), a man identified as SM, 37, was found dead in the Suir Kiri River, Tebing Tinggi Timur sub-district, Meranti Islands, after he reportedly went missing while transporting sago tree trunks.

A crocodile was captured and its abdomen was dissected to find him, but instead, SM’s body was found floating in the river.

Another victim identified as ZBT, 50, a sago machine maker, was found dead on Monday. He was attacked at 4 p.m. local time on Sunday in Desa Penyagun River, Rangsang sub-district.

A colleague who witnessed the incident reported that a five-meter crocodile pulled ZBT upstream of the river. The victim’s legs were severed in the attack.

Related news: Stop throwing spoiled meat in river to curb crocodile attacks: BKSDA
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Translator: Bayu A, Kenzu
Editor: Suharto
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